A Visit With a Japanese Family in 1964 Part 4: “It’s Supper Time!

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Here is part 4 of a series on how the Organizing Committee of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 presented the typical Japanese family to the world. In these series of pictures, the writers again show how similar the typical Japanese and Western families actually are. Moms shout out to kids that dinner is ready, and they settle together at the dinner table to a wide variety of cuisine.

13 Amid the cackling and shouting of the kid on the lawn we hear Mother’ s voice. It’s supper time. Japan adopted daylight-saving-time shortly after the war, but the problem of getting the children inside while it was still light out proved too great, and daylight-saving-time was abandoned.

14 All the family members gather in the kitchen area for supper. For dinner you can expect any variety of Western, Chinese, Indian or Japanese food. No other nation offers such an array of homecooking. The availability of fresh meats and an abundant supply   of   fish give the homemaker scores of menu ideas. Rice, the all­ time favorite in Japan is losing some of its popularity to bread, especially at breakfast time. The main food seasoning is soy sauce, which was first introduced. to Japan from China centuries ago.   Try a little on your fish.

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When I read that Japanese typically eat Indian food, I had to pause for a moment. Indian food? Then I realized that one of the most popular dishes in the Japanese diet is indeed curry rice, a thick yellow curry that has been popular since the late 19th century when the British introduced it to the Japanese.

The article ends as does the day of the typical Japanese family – with everyone fast asleep, except the eldest son burning the midnight oil studying for university exams.

16   The   family   has retired for the night.   What a long time we’ve been here!   Only   one   light is burning.   It’s in the room of the oldest boy who is studying for the university entrance examinations .   He is   preparing   for the fiercest competition he may ever face. Taro, the family dog, is keeping the vigil outside. Well, good night now, have a good rest.

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