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The Chopstick Test

Math whizzes and other prodigies need not apply unless they can demonstrate dexterity with a pair of chopsticks under new entrance requirements announced by a Japanese girls' school on Wednesday.

Successful applicants to the Hisatagakuen Sasebo Girls' High School in Nagasaki, Japan, must be able to transfer marbles, beads and beans from one plate to another - using chopsticks.

That's according to the school's principal, Junko Hisata, who commented in an interview with the Kyodo News Agency.

The test aims to judge applicants' lifestyle habits through their handling of chopsticks and must be taken by all candidates - aged 15 or 16 years - starting with those wishing to enroll in April, the start of Japan's academic year, the report said.

The high school caters to girls aged 16-18 years.

The move comes amid concerns that Japanese youth are losing touch with their traditional culinary culture and table manners. Youngsters increasingly wolf down burgers and fried chicken instead of the fish, rice and miso soup of their grandparents' generation.

Flower arrangement and a traditional Japanese tea ceremony are also part of the required curriculum at Hisatagakuen, founded in 1902 and known for its emphasis on discipline.

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