What are the differences in chopsticks between China, Japan, and Korea?

Do you know? China, Japan, and Korea have different dining cultures, although they all use "chopsticks," because of the different dining cultures, their "chopsticks" also look different. Can you tell the difference? Let's introduce you one by one:)


The length

In Chinese dining culture, Chinese people are used to dining at the round table and sharing the dishes. So you will find that compared with Japanese and Korean cuisine, Chinese cuisine usually has a larger serving. Therefore, the length of Chinese chopsticks is longer than Japanese and Korean chopsticks. Because the food is a bit far away from you, you have to reach out to pick up the food, especially when you dine on a big round table, long chopsticks will be much easier to reach the food.

Different than the Chinese, Japanese dining culture is each person has their own set of meals/foods. Since the food is already in front of you, you don’t need a long-length chopstick, so Japanese chopsticks are generally shorter than Chinese and Korean chopsticks.


Similar to Japanese, in Korea, each person has their own set of meals, however, on different occasions, they also place various side dishes on the table to share, and they love to share bbq, and stew pots too (such as army pots)! So the length of Korean chopsticks is between Chinese and Japanese chopsticks.


The Design

Usually, Chinese chopsticks are thicker than Japanese and Korean chopsticks.

And generally, the front end is round and the rear end is square, the design is coming from the ancient Chinese philosophy “round sky, square ground (天圓地方)”, the sky has represented movement and flows, and the ground has represented stillness. Like Tai Chi, yin, and yang, it’s all about balance.


If you check on the Japanese chopsticks, you will find that the rear end has a variety of styles such as square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, rounded square, etc.

Although Japanese chopsticks have many different designs, one thing in common is that the front ends of Japanese chopsticks are narrow and pointed.

Because Japanese food is in small portions and more delicate, such as sushi, and pickles! Also, the Japanese love to eat fish, and pointed chopsticks are easier to avoid the fish bones!


Korean chopsticks are usually flat because when Koreans finish cooking in the kitchen, they will use a tray to bring the food to the dining table. The flat shape prevents the chopsticks from rolling and slipping on the way. In addition, flat chopsticks are also very practical for cutting, and eating kimchi/pancakes. Some people think that Korean chopsticks are very difficult to use, indeed it’s not easy for a beginner, but it’s not that difficult as well! Practice makes perfect! Don't give up!

Here we found a video of “how to use chopsticks”, check it out!

Traditionally, Chinese and Japanese chopsticks are made of wood and bamboo, but nowadays melamine chopsticks are also very popular in Chinese and Japanese households. But Korean chopsticks are mostly made of metal, the reason is very simple, Korean cuisine has a lot of fermented side dishes (such as kimchi), and stainless steel chopsticks are much easier to clean and won't leave the smell:)

So, which country's chopsticks do you like the most?

Here is our chopsticks collection:


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published