A Visit With a Japanese Family in 1964 Part 3: The Modern Family

It’s the 1960s! The Japanese economy is booming! This was the time of The Three Sacred Treasures of Post-War Japan, when every family had to have a television, a refrigerator and a washing machine.

This is part 3 about how the Olympic Organizing Committee sought to educate the visiting foreigners about the typical Japanese household. Their message – yes, we’re Japanese, but we’re Western and Modern as well! In an article written in “Tokyo Olympics Official Souvenir 1964”, the writers explained how up to the times the typical Japanese family was. Having said that, the Kato girls are stuck cooking in the kitchen and doing the laundry, albeit with the latest white goods on the market.

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5 Kitchen Area. This functional modern design is gaining in popularity as fewer girls are willing to be house­ maids. The housewife’s aids today are electric appliances. Mrs. Kato and her daughter-in-law are clearing the breakfast table.

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6 Laundry   and   Bath.   The latest model washing ma­chine and spin dryer. Look at the bathtub-in a Japanese style bath you wash and rinse outside the tub, and in this case, in a Western style shower. The water is not replaced for every bather so it’s important that you be clean before   you   get into the hot water of the tub to relax.

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7 The handy folding clothesdryer can be moved to the sunniest areas as the sun moves across the sky.

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10 With the washing in the fresh air, Mother turns to sewing. New electric sewing machines have made it possible for women to make their own kimonos at home. Once kimonos had to be made by professional dress­ makers. Japan currently produces sewing machines, at an annual rate of 3.5 million, many of which are ex ported.

Through the eyes of mother Kato, the writers show how Japan has modernized. First, mom drives! How else can she attend PTA meetings and buy her groceries at the increasingly popular supermarket!

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11 Faced with increasing duties at home and outside, Mother has learned to drive. Alas, she had the new car two months before she could pass the driving test!

12 After attending a PTA meeting at the school of her youngest child, Mother stops at a supermarket on her way home. Supermarkets came into   vogue in Japan about three years ago and have proved so popular with house­ wives that there are some 2,000 supermarkets in Tokyo alone.

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