Japanese School Lunch

Jun 3, 2020

Japanese School Lunch

I fondly remember the first time I was invited to an elementary school as a guest, it was my very first experience for the school lunch in Japan.

Wow, having never seen anything like Japanese school lunch, I found what unfolded in front of my eyes to be extraordinary.

First of all, the students on duty would go to the lunch preparation room where they pick up the equipment necessary to serve lunch. They were all dressed in white smocks with white caps.

They would then bring the food back to their classroom, and serve it up to the other students who were lined up.

I found this incredible, to see these children, serving their fellow students.

Isn’t this an excellent way to train your citizens to be thoughtful members of society, where everyone takes turns serving each other.

Of course the homeroom teacher took part in this ritual by overseeing the entire operation.

One more thing I found indeed wonderful about Japanese school lunches was the nutritional value and the deliciousness of these school lunches, which were always well thought out.

And I remember back in the day when I was going around teaching at several different junior high schools, I was always delighted to share in the school lunches with the children, and they were indeed delighted to have this novelty from a distant land sharing their lunch with them.

Here’s a video of the Japanese children serving of each other the school lunch, and I’m sure you will admit, or maybe you’re thinking that your country might welcome Japanese style school lunch protocol.

I firmly believe, this is the way the Japanese are formulated to become meaningful members of our society, while building an innate sense of belonging to your own group, and this is done by “serving others”.

It is also delightful to see the Japanese children start eating all at the same time with a boisterous “itadakimasu“ (this is polite language to be used before eating)

On a side note: Did you know that in the first 3 years in school in Japan, they have no exams or tests? It’s all about discipline, social, hygiene and health lessons.

I hope we can take some lessons away from the Japanese school lunch and apply this mindset to one’s own life.