The Japanese table manner is unique, and there are characteristic.
– Start eating with thanks, and end with thanks.
– Eat rice by holding the bowl in their hand.
– There are many detailed manners regarding chopsticks.
１．Start eating with thanks, and end with thanks.
At first, you start your eating saying thanks, “Itadakimasu”.
It is the heart of “gratitude”.
“Thanks for your life (to your food)”, and also thanks for farmer, worker, cook, everyone who on the line to serve foods for you. It cannot find one subject in the sentence. So it is difficult to express in other languages.
After eating your foods, you also thanks, saying “Gochisousama”.
“Chisou” means “running around” or “busies at something”.
This expresses thanks for giving their life or someone’s hospitality who prepared for food.
２．Eat rice by holding the bowl in their hand.
In the previous era, Japanese people didn’t have a habit to eat their food using table, put their low tray on the tatami mat and they sitting seiza, to sit erect with their legs folded under they sit properly Japanese fashion. And also we have habitual eat our food using chopsticks. In this history, they eat their food with having their bowl, as a culture.
So if you eat rice or miso-soup without holding the bowl, or close to bringing your mouth on the dishes, it is a bad manner. Japanese people call these bad manners to “Mukae-ni-iku (going to pick up)” or “Inu-gui (eating like dogs)”.
To keep a good posture, and feeling these tastes and calmly eat, is also the intention.
３．There are many detailed manners regarding chopsticks.
In Japan, people are thinking that the chopstick dwells soul.
This is the express their spirit that to face their food and eat taken very seriously even one grain of rice, and to have Rei-setsu.