29 Jul Japanese dinning etiquette
At any table that is worthy of respect, a few etiquette rules should be followed to avoid making a bad impression. This is very important both for the western and the eastern cultures, especially the Japanese one.
First of all, it is worth mentioning that specific terms are used to indicate a particular kind of behaviour, action or rule.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE GREETING “IRASSHAIMASE” IS GENERALLY USED TO RECEIVE A GUEST.
Per quando poi ci si è a tavola, è doveroso sapere che al posto del nostro “buon appetito” vi una vera e propria gratitudine per quello che si sta per avere. Si tratta del “itadakimasu” che vuol dire “ricevo questo cibo e ringrazio”.
Furthermore, before eating, the Japanese express their gratitude for the food they are going to eat by saying “itadakimasu”, which replaces our “enjoy your meal”.
In addition, it’s important to know how to use chopsticks. The Japanese chopsticks are called Hashi and differ from the Chinese ones for their shape. Each member of the family has his/her own chopsticks, which are served in a large bowl placed in the middle of the table.
YOU SHOULD NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHOPSTICKS CROSSED ON THE PLATE OR ON THE TABLE AND YOU SHOULD NEVER USE THEM TO POINT AT SOMETHING OR SOMEONE.
If the plate is communal, you should turn your chopsticks the other way to pick up the food. You should never pass food from chopstick to chopstick.
All the dishes are served at the same time. You can’t eat unless all the dishes are on the table.
FOOD CONTAINING RICE SHOULD NEVER BE DIPPED ENTIRELY IN THE SAUCE. A GRAIN MIGHT FALL IN THE SAUCE.
When at the table, you should be relaxed, be able to taste what you’re eating and most importantly you should take care of your organism. For this reason, it’s very common to order Sake, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice that is very important in the Japanese culture.
Sake should be served to others and you should always wait for someone to serve it to you.
And even if it’s difficult to believe, you can even make a toast with green tea and say “Kampai!”