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Why are Chinese chopsticks different than Japanese?

It would be easy compare the typical plain-Jane Chinese version to the often elaborate and beautiful Japanese lacquered versions and conclude that the difference is aesthetic, but that would be only partly right.

The important difference is functional: You might starve before getting enough fluffier, looser and less-sticky Chinese-style long grain rice from bowl to mouth with slender, smooth and slippery Japanese chopsticks.


chopsticks varieties

We have all kinds: Oversized, colour-coded cooking chopsticks, practical plastic ones, sturdy Chinese-style bamboo chopsticks that will withstand years of rough treatment and actually look the better for it, plain Japanese lacquered ones, and an array of gorgeous Japanese-style pairs perfect for Japanese meals (or elegantly pinning up long hair).