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【Culture】”Hashi”, Chopsticks represent Japanese Food Culture2015.09.25

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Chopsticks are considered as one kind of utensils all over the world because Asian food became popular. However, Japanese chopsticks, “Hashi” are unique and said that they represent Japanese food culture.

Japanese people use only chopsticks in their meal time, even for having a soup. In other Asian countries, not only chopsticks but also spoons are used. Therefore, there are various kinds of Hashi of use; “Moritsukebashi” for food layout, “Toribashi” for food serving, and “Saibashi” for cooking. Besides, the different type of chopsticks is used depending on food and users. “Natto Bashi” are used for mixing “natto,”Japanese fermented soybeans. “Menbashi” is for Japanese noodles, Soba and Udon. “Rokkaku Bashi” are hexagonal shaped chopsticks for children to practice to use them. Hashi is also made of different type of woods and lacquers. If you would go to a specialty shop of Hashi, you could find over 1,200 types of chopsticks. Especially in disposable wooden chopsticks “Waribashi,” there are a lot of kinds and shapes. One of unique point is that Japanese people have and use their own chopsticks at home. Most of Japanese never share them even for their family.

Because of ancient customs that chopsticks were used for holy events for gods, there are a lot of strict rules to use them: no dipping, waving, spearing, standing vertically, pulling dishes closer and much more. However, “Washoku” is identified as intangible cultural heritage including its manner of using Hashi. Please enjoy Washoku with the traditional manner of using Hashi.

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