When dining with Japanese friends, relatives, or co-workers, it is best to know some dining etiquette to show respect. Although, the majority of Japanese will understand if one does not follow such traditions. However, it is best to educate oneself and show some good manners. As such, in this article, we will introduce common Japanese etiquette when dining. This can save you during meetings with clients or big celebrations with them:
In the traditional Japanese function venues, diners would sit in low tables or ‘chabudai’. Then, people sit on the tatami mats sometimes with a cushion. During formal occasions, both men and women are expected to kneel on the floor near the table when dining. This practice is called the seiza-style. Indeed, those who are not used to kneel for long hours can find the tea ceremonies and other traditional Japanese events as uncomfortable. But during casual gatherings, the men can sit cross-legged while the women can sit with both of their legs on one side only. Furthermore, there is also a seating order to be practiced when dining. For example, the important guests must sit on the ‘kamiza’ or the honored seat. This is situated at the farthest point from the entrance. However, if there is a tokonoma or an alcove, then the guest must sit right in front of it. Finally, the least important person should sit near the ‘shimoza’ or the entrance.
Handling of Utensils
In restaurants and cocktail bar Windsor, they offer an oshibori or steamed towels to guests to clean the hands. Make sure not to use it to wipe the face. However, at home, guests are expected to wash their hands before starting the meal. Today, Japanese use forks, spoons, and knives when dining. However, chopsticks are still commonly mostly used. Practice using chopsticks by holding the top between the index, thumb, and middle fingers just like holding a pen. Next, hold the bottom of the chopstick using the ring finger and the thumb. Move only the top of the chopsticks in picking a food. Furthermore, it is essential not to stick a chopstick into the food especially the rice. It is also improper to pass food from one chopstick to another. Finally, do not wave the chopsticks on top of the dishes or use it to point to somebody else.
Greetings Before and After Meals
Finally, the most important etiquette is the greetings before and after a meal. Say ‘itadakimasu’ before a meal. This can mean the opening of a meal and saying thanks for the preparations. Meanwhile, say ‘gochisousama’ after eating. This can express gratitude for everyone who prepared and cooked the food. In sum, table manners are simple and easy to follow. This must be observed by all people, children and adult alike. Japan is considered to be one of the best culinary countries in the world. The rich taste in every meal makes it become the number one trending topic in various platforms of social media.