Source: Gaijin Pot
Do you consider yourself a chopstick ninja, picking grains of rice with your o-hashi like a pro? Well, you might need to reevaluate your skills, especially if you’ve been told by a Japanese person you how jouzu you are. Turns out, they may not actually know what they’re talking about!
In 2012, a survey conducted by Mejiro University revealed that only about 30% of Japanese men and women from their 30s to 50s correctly hold their chopsticks. What’s worse, the researchers also noticed that the proportion of people knowing where to correctly place their fingers is decreasing year after year.
Children are taught to hold their chopsticks by their parents. However, the proper way to hold them (according to older generations) doesn’t feel easy or natural and requires training our fingers and hand muscles. Before even learning how to hold them, you actually have to know how to choose the right pair of chopsticks for your hand size. The path to chopstick mastery is like a combination of sport & mathematics.
How to (correctly) hold your chopsticks
First, you must know exactly where to place your fingers, starting with the upper chopstick.
Hold it about one-third of the way from the top like you would a pencil (of course, that involves knowing how to hold a pencil in the first place). To grab food, you only need to move the upper chopstick with your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
The lower chopstick goes against your ring finger and is held by the base of your thumb.