41 Chopsticks, China (c. 3,000 BC)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


Chopsticks are used as eating tools in the East Asian region, mostly, in China, Korea and Japan. They consist of two sticks, often made of wood or lacquered wood, metal or plastics. Originally from China, the use of chopsticks spread throughout East Asia and then all over the world. Although the ultimate form and use of chopsticks remain unchanged, the subtle variations and differences in chopsticks from China, Korea and Japan reflect the different customs and cultural values. The iconicity of chopsticks resides in the ubiquity of their fundamental forms, uses and symbolic associations, albeit with differences across the cultures of the East Asian region. This short chapter is commissioned by the editor of the book, Iconic designs: 50 stories about 50 things. The chapter explains various materials and uses of chopsticks from China, Korea and Japan and discusses the iconicity of chopstick, a mundane personal object.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIconic designs: 50 stories about 50 things
EditorsGrace Lees-Maffei
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780857853523
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2014


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