Most of you have probably already used chopsticks.
At sushi restaurants and ramen shops, you eat with chopsticks without fail.
Of course, you also use chopsticks in Japanese restaurants.
For us Japanese, chopsticks are an indispensable part of our lives, but how about for you?
You use chopsticks to eat sushi and ramen, but most of you probably use forks and knives at home.
I think this is because it is part of your culture and part of your life.
I do not intend to argue here that chopsticks are superior or that forks are easier to use.
However, if you try to incorporate the culture of chopsticks into your daily life, I am sure that your eating habits will become more enjoyable and colorful.
I hope to be able to offer such suggestions.
How to hold chopsticks correctly
Let me start by showing you how to use chopsticks correctly.
Please prepare either disposable chopsticks or two pencils.
The procedure is very simple.
It is easy, but it still takes experience to be able to use them unconsciously.
We hope you will incorporate chopsticks into your daily diet and become a chopstick master!
In Japan, children learn how to use chopsticks little by little around the age of 3 or 4.
There is only practice!
It is cool to be able to handle chopsticks well!
For those who want to improve as quickly as possible, goods like these that can be enjoyed like a game are also available.
They are excellent for improving the use of chopsticks while having fun with your child.
How to Handle and be care of Chopsticks
Next, let's talk about proper chopstick maintenance.
Daily maintenance is important to use your favorite chopsticks as long as possible.
Most Japanese chopsticks are made of wood or bamboo.
Recently, there are many chopsticks available that are dishwasher-safe, but if you want to use them as long as possible, we recommend washing them by hand.
The high heat of the dishwasher will cause the chopsticks to deteriorate faster.
1. wash carefully with neutral detergent on a soft sponge.
2. Carefully rinse off the detergent with lukewarm water.
3. Drain well and immediately wipe off any remaining water with a soft towel.
4. Dry thoroughly before storing in the cutlery case.
Leaving chopsticks unwashed or soaking them in water overnight will cause them to deteriorate rapidly.
Also, do not put them in the case together with metal cutlery.
The paint on the chopsticks may peel off due to rubbing against the metal.
Lifespan of Chopsticks
Unfortunately, chopsticks have a lifespan.
Even if you take good care of your chopsticks, they will gradually deteriorate.
In Japan, people use chopsticks every day, so most people replace their chopsticks with new ones every six months to a year.
If the paint on the surface of your chopsticks starts to peel off, the tips of the chopsticks become deteriorated, or they start to look old, please try to find new chopsticks that you like.
Japanese chopstick culture is unique in the world
It is a uniquely Japanese culture to use one's own chopsticks and to eat using only chopsticks.
Japan is by no means the only country that uses chopsticks.
Chopstick culture has taken root mainly in East Asia, including China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore.
However, Japan is said to be the only country that has its own set of chopsticks.
Chopsticks have been used in Japan for more than 1,400 years.
Since ancient times, it has been believed that gods reside in chopsticks, and Japanese people have continued to use chopsticks to thank God for their meals.
Therefore, from the culture of eating meals with God, the country has become a nation of people who have their own chopsticks.
Even today, people use different sizes and colors of chopsticks for different family members.For this reason, chopsticks of various designs and colors are produced in Japan.
There are countless types of chopsticks on the market, from those with pop colors favored by young people and children to those with more subdued designs favored by the elderly.
It is also said that Japan is the only country in the world where the etiquette of eating with chopsticks only has been established.
Remember when you eat Japanese food. You would eat miso soup by putting your mouth directly into the bowl, and eat the other foods with chopsticks. Only in Japan is this style of eating directly from the bowl acceptable. It is rare to see this style of eating in other countries with chopstick culture.
We hope that everyone will choose chopsticks with a design they like and enjoy their meals with them.
We are sure that you will enjoy choosing chopsticks as well.
Let's try Japanese chopsticks!
Japanese chopsticks are made of wood or bamboo and are usually lacquered.
Japan is a country with many forests, and the culture of wood has long been rooted in the country.
This is because materials are readily available everywhere and are easy to process.
Another idea to make chopsticks last longer is the traditional technique of lacquering.
This traditional technique using lacquer was developed because many lacquer trees have been growing wild in Japan for a long time.
Chopsticks are also strengthened by the lacquer coating and can be used for many years if used carefully.
Various colors can also be created by adding dyes to this lacquer.
This is why Japanese chopsticks are so colorful.
New chopstick designs are being created one after another, incorporating European techniques.
Chopstick Culture Connected to the Spirit of Zen
Isn't it very simple to eat using only chopsticks?
Chopsticks are only two wooden sticks.
They are thin wooden sticks with as little waste as possible.
A simple way of thinking that eliminates waste is the spirit of Zen.
There is no doubt that the Japanese chopstick culture, and by extension the Japanese food culture, has been greatly influenced by the Japanese Zen culture.
Chopsticks are truly versatile players
I have talked about the beauty and culture of chopsticks.
However, you may be thinking, "Aren't chopsticks easier to use because they are a noodle dish like ramen, or because it is Japanese food?"
Or, "Aren't chopsticks conversely inconvenient for our meals?"
I think there are many people who feel this way.
It is true that chopsticks tend to be considered a difficult item to use until you get used to using them, but once you do, you will find that there is nothing more convenient.
At home, I eat a variety of foods, both Japanese and Western, most of which I eat using chopsticks.
Chopsticks are great for grasping and are perfect for eating salads, and I also use chopsticks for fried eggs, bacon, and sausages in the morning.
I use chopsticks to eat both Mac 'n' Cheese, which my kids love, and fried foods.
Pasta dishes, however, I use a fork.
Soup is also served with a spoon, since you can't put your mouth in the bowl like you can with miso soup.
Of course, this is not to say that chopsticks are best.
There are many different ways of eating around the world, and if we try to incorporate chopsticks as one of them, our eating habits will be enriched.
Our store has started handling chopsticks. We plan to gradually increase the number of these chopsticks in the future.
And we hope you will use Japanese chopsticks, too!