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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Fighting Against Japanese Culture

Japan Culture

Japan has rules – lots of them. And they like it that way.

It puts a cramp on flexibility sometimes, it makes that usual, but it also make things quite predictable, and with that comes confidence in knowing things will be done right – the first time.

They have a lot of don’t when it comes to using chopsticks.

Don’t stab your rice. This is only done at funerals. So, unless you are killing your rice or attending your rice’s funeral…don’t stick your chopsticks in them.

Don’t pass food from person to person with your chopsticks. Most westerners can’t do this anyway…but in case you can…don’t. And don’t practice either. Once again, at funerals, the dead one is always cremated …but only to the point that many of the hardest parts of the bones are left over. Yep…there are bones laying on the table in front of you.

You then pick up these bones and put them in a coffee can type container for later reference. The passing of the bones can be done with chopsticks. It is the ONLY time you can pass something by chopsticks. Got it?

Your chopsticks are NOT a baby spear or a harpoon. Don’t use it as such.

Your chopsticks are NOT arrows for giving directions.

Your chopsticks are NOT extensions of your fingers to do what fingers normally do..such as move things around on the table. Put the chopsticks down and use your hands.

When going for seconds, turn your chopsticks around and pick out what you want to the unused end of your chopsticks. In that way, no one has to touch what your mouth touched. Yuck!

Question: What do Japanese do when they want to lose weight?

Answer: They use only one chopstick.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

No Comments

  • james roper says:

    wow, thats a lot of rules about how to eat. i’m glad we don’t have thsoe types of rules, i eat with my hands a lot. i would surely break the eating rules.

  • panasianbiz says:

    We call fingers natures chopsticks.

  • mark cerezo says:

    Are those rules or manners? if they are manners then i guess its not too strict. Now im hungry…

  • panasianbiz says:

    Those are manners….rules of etiquette.

  • Daniel Neal says:

    Wow that is a lot of rules. Personally I like to eat with what i want and the way i want. I know i would be kicked out of every restruant i eat at.

  • Jennifer Simes says:

    Interesting rules of etiquette in using chopsticks. For someone of Asian descent, I could relate to these rules. Although, some of it have superstitious or religious origin, most are based on good manners. It’s really just common sense regardless of what eating implements you use – remember what our mothers always say: “Don’t play with your food.”

  • panasianbiz says:

    It is also a matter of showing respect to the hands that prepared it as well.

    Good point, Jennifer.

  • I had great mental images of pushing condiments around the table with chopsticks 😀

    And we DO have rules about how to use utensils in Western countries; the other comments surprised me!

  • panasianbiz says:

    Thanks for visiting Vern,
    Yes, we do have rules about utensils..but I venture that many don’t know them…especially when we go beyond the three basic ones.

  • kate says:


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