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Lunchboxes or school lunch? Different ways of thinking

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Japanese Bento

The story of Washoku or Japanese cuisine would not be complete without the Japanese bento or lunchboxes. It is a food culture that everyday people come across daily.

Since traditional Japanese food is served individually on many small plates, inside a Japanese bento box you tend to find each food organized separately in holders or cups. You can buy cheap bento at convenience stores and there are many companies that specialize in delivering lunchboxes to work places.

Many mothers and home makers have to make lunchboxes for their children and family members for school and work. The custom of waking up early in the morning to prepare lunches for the whole family is considered to be a typical routine in many families.

In this Japanese learning blog by Ms. Sachiko Someya, a Japanese language teacher at JOI, introduces a personal view on this part of Japan's culture. Read the blog and listen to the video to learn more Japanese for free.

Lunchboxes or school lunch? Different ways of thinking


By SOMEYA Sachiko


 私の息子が通う幼稚園では、週に4回給食が提供され、残り週1回はお弁当を持参します。 お弁当作りが得意ではない私は、この週1回の前日は気が重いのです。給食の方が栄養バランスもしっかりしていて、私の作る簡単なお弁当よりもよっぽど安心です。 しかし先日、幼稚園から、来年度からは週5回給食を提供するという手紙がきました。ニーズに応えるかたちのようです。


 しかし、色々な人と話していると、私のような人ばかりではありませんでした。週1回ぐらいは手作りのお弁当を持たせたい、給食費が上がるぐらいならお弁当を作る!などなど。 面倒くさがり屋の私は、「お弁当作らなくていいの?ラッキー」と思ってしまいますが、やはりお弁当には、作る人の気持ち、食べるのを楽しみにする子どもたち、色々な気持ちがあるのだなと気付かされた出来事でした。


To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.


 私(わたし)の息子(むすこ)が通(かよ)う幼稚園(ようちえん)では、週(しゅう)に4回(かい)給食(きゅうしょく)が提供(ていきょう)され、残(のこ)り週(しゅう)1回(かい)はお弁当(べんとう)を持参(じさん)します。 お弁当(べんとう)作(づく)りが得意(とくい)ではない私(わたし)は、この週(しゅう)1回(かい)の前日(ぜんじつ)は気(き)が重(おも)いのです。給食(きゅしょく)の方(ほう)が栄養(えいよう)バランスもしっかりしていて、私(わたし)の作(つく)る簡単(かんたん)なお弁当(べんとう)よりもよっぽど安心(あんしん)です。しかし先日(せじつ)、幼稚園(ようちえん)から、来年度(らいねんど)からは週(しゅう)5回(かい)給食(きゅうしょく)を提供(ていきょう)するという手紙(てがみ)がきました。ニーズに応(こた)えるかたちのようです。


 しかし、色々(いろいろ)な人(ひと)と話(はな)していると、私(わたし)のような人(ひと)ばかりではありませんでした。週(しゅう)1回(かい)ぐらいは手作(てづく)りのお弁当(べんとう)を持(も)たせたい、給食費(きゅうしょくひ)が上(あ)がるぐらいならお弁当(べんとう)を作(つく)る!などなど。 面倒(めんどう)くさがり屋(や)の私(わたし)は、「お弁当(べんとう)作(つく)らなくていいの?ラッキー」と思(おも)ってしまいますが、やはりお弁当(べんとう)には、作(つく)る人(ひと)の気持(きも)ち、食(た)べるのを楽(たの)しみにする子(こ)どもたち、色々(いろいろ)な気持(きも)ちがあるのだなと気付(きづ)かされた出来事(できごと)でした。

Lunchboxes or school lunch? Different ways of thinking

At the kindergarten that my son goes to, they provide school lunches 4 times a week and for the left over one day a week they have to bring lunchboxes. For someone like me who isn't good at making lunchboxes, I feel heavy-spirited the day before this once a week chore. The school lunches are better done and have more nutritional balance and they are a great relief compared to my simple lunchboxes. But the other day, I received a letter from the kindergarten which stated that from the next school year, they are going to start providing school lunches 5 times a week, It will depend on the needs.

My son is going to be graduating from the kindergarten this year so this news is unrelated to my family. I was disappointed as I thought that if only this letter had arrived one year earlier, then he would have been able to eat the well-balanced school lunches every day and I would have been saved from the trouble of making the lunchboxes.

But after talking to various people I realized that not everyone was the same as me. Some felt that they wanted to send their kids with lunch boxes at least once a week, and others felt that if the cost of the school lunches rises, they would prefer to make their own lunchboxes etc. For a lazy person like me, I just thought “Oh! I don't have to make lunchboxes? Lucky me!!” But this incident made me realize that there are many feelings about this topic - there are the feelings of those who make them, and the feelings of the children who enjoy eating them.

提供(ていきょう)する      provide, offer

持参(じさん)する        bring

得意(とくい) good at~

栄養(えいよう)バランス    nutritional balance

安心(あんしん)         ease, security, relief

手間(てま) labor, trouble

面倒(めんどう)くさがり屋(や) lazy


Konnichiwa, My name is Sachiko Someya. I live in Yokohama city in Kanagawa prefecture. Yokohama is an attractive city with a lot of tourist destinations. If you ever get the chance, please come and visit. Learning a new language can bring you a lot pleasure but can also be difficult. I would like to help you to enjoy learning Japanese. Let's try hard together ! I'm looking forward to meeting up with you online.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 October 2021