How to Use Chopsticks: Basic Skill

Yumi Murata

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Are you good at eating with chopsticks? There are some people who are interested in Japanese cuisine, but might give up trying to eat with chopsticks because it is difficult.

holding chopsticks

Ms. Daido taught how to use chopsticks in the Tokyo Kitchen class when I interviewed her.

I asked her to write an article about how to use chopsticks and she undertook it willingly!

Let’s learn how to use chopsticks!

How to Use Chopsticks

There are 3 things that you need to know if you want to use chopsticks correctly: choosing chopsticks that fit your hand, holding chopsticks in the correct way and moving them correctly.

How to Choose Chopsticks that Fit your Hand

Make 90 degree angle using your hand by stretching your thumb and index finger. Measure the distance between your thumb and index finger and times it by 1.5. The number you get is the correct chopstick length for you.

How to Hold Chopsticks

  1. Hold one chopstick as if you hold a pencil using your thumb, index finder and middle finger at one third of the way from the top, the wide end.
  2. Insert the other chopstick to the hole made with your thumb and index finger from the palm side and place it at the bottom of the hole where your thumb and index finger meet.
  3. Also, support it from the bottom with your ring finger, around your nail.
  4. Make sure the tips of the chopsticks are evenly aligned. Now your chopsticks are in the correct position.

How to Move Chopsticks Correctly

Your index finger and middle finger are the only ones you use to move chopsticks and the other three fingers stay still. Press up/down the upper chopstick using your middle finger and index finger with a support of your thumb. By doing this, the lower chopstick should remain still throughout the process.

Now you should be able to pick up small things like beans to big things like sushi!

How to pick up chopsticks from the table

One last tip about how to pick up chopsticks from the table. Grab your chopsticks using your dominant hand from the top, hold them with the other hand from the bottom and then shift the dominant hand to the correct position.


Could you understand how to use chopsticks? It might seem difficult if you’re not used to it, but let’s give it a try!

In the next article, I’ll introduce you to the common mistakes made with chopsticks that you should try to avoid.

The information covered in this article was correct at the time of writing. In the case of national holidays and seasonal holidays, opening hours may vary. If the information has changed, please notify us and we will alter it accordingly.