Fried bread, fruity ciders, and more tasty treats from across Japan and across generations.
In the 22nd year of the Meiji era (aka 1889), the very first Japanese kyūshoku (school lunch) was served up at an elementary school in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture. Although the first menu was very simply prepared, it provided the growing children with an important source of nourishment that not all of them could receive at home.
Fast-forward to 2015–Japanese schoolchildren (and their teachers!) continue to eat school lunches every day, as opposed to children in many other countries who bring their lunches from home. If you’re working in a Japanese school, you should already be familiar with the daily feeling of either excitement or disappointment when you see the lunch menu for the day. But just consider this–would you rather eat the types of lunches served today, or those that were served 100 years ago? Read on to learn about the evolution of Japanese school lunches and decide for yourself!
He’s known for his outspoken and often controversial opinions, from saying that civil servants who have tattoos should resign, to denying the forcible recruitment of South Korean “comfort women” during the second world war.
But it was an intense debate about whether students should be allowed to have furikake seasoning with their school lunch that left city mayor Tōru Hashimoto scratching his head this week as he asked the Osaka Board of Education: “What’s wrong with furikake?!”
Recreating food from our favorite movies and anime is nothing new. We’ve already seen ramen straight out of Naruto and herring and pumpkin pot pie a la Kiki’s Delivery Service. But what is unusual is that this time it’s not die-hard anime fans breathing life into 2-D delicacies, but a cafeteria at one school in Japan. You won’t believe this special school menu featuring a week of delicious looking dishes from some of Hayao Miyazaki’s most famous works.
Many people in Japan think that American school lunches are unhealthy. For the most part, they are right. When photos of the greasy fried foods and brown piles of slop that are served to students in the US surfaced on the internet, Japanese netizens were shocked. With all the talk of Americans being overweight and school lunches being fat-laden and unhealthy, our own Japanese reporter wondered, “Is it really as bad as it seems?” During his recent trip to the US, our reporter was allowed to try the lunch served at a school in the United States. The following is a translation of his encounter with American school lunch.
As part of its ongoing efforts to bring peace of mind to city residents following the accident at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, Tokyo’s Komae City will meticulously measure airborne radiation levels along all roadways within city limits and provide citizens with easy-to-understand information regarding the readings. Additionally, having only inspected radiation levels of school lunch ingredients once before, the city announced on Feb. 21 that it would reintroduce such checks on the foodstuffs comprising the noontime meals.
Suspiciously, less than a week after the announcement of the checks, Kenji Matsuyama, president of Mitaka Food Services Center, told the city his firm would not renew its contract to provide the city’s junior high schools with lunches.
“School lunch” and “healthy”; these two things don’t always go together. Despite numerous doctors and scientists stressing the importance of properly fueling the growing bodies of young children, budget cuts and time constraints (among other excuses) make it extremely difficult to deliver nutritious foods to schools.
When snapshots of American school lunches showed up on Japanese site Naver Matome, many Japanese citizens were horrified by the greasy slop masquerading as food that was strewn about the plastic lunch trays.