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First, start by lifting the chopsticks with both hands and follow the basic rules of chopsticks etiquette.Always keep in mind that chopsticks are eating utensils, just as a fork and knife, so don't play with them, point with them, or rub them together!When first seated, many restaurants will provide you with a wet towel.

Otherwise, leave them sideways on your plate rather than pointing them at the person seated across.

Putting your sticks next to your bowl indicates that you aren't finished eating yet.

Doing so reminds Japanese of the ritual of passing cremated bones between chopsticks at funerals.

The same rule applies to sticking your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice -- another morbid symbol that could ruin someone's meal.

If no serving utensils are provided during a family-style meal -- sometimes this is the case when visiting someone's home -- take food from the bowls on the table by using the thick ends -- the ends that don't go into your mouth -- of the chopsticks.

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