Hello world, welcome to Wumeijima elementary school.
I don’t think it’s a place many would consider cool.
No, we all know cool Japan.
是吧 众所周知 日本很酷
It’s neon lights, samurai, shrine, kimonos,
它的霓虹灯 武士 神社 和服
robots, anime, sushi,
机器人 动漫 寿司
lots of people crossing the road.
Yeah, sure. Those are all great.
嗯 没错 那些都很棒
But what I think is cool, and Japan can truly teach the world about
is how to do the humble school lunch, how to do kyushoku.
First things first, in Japan virtually all public elementary schools
首先 在日本 几乎所有的公立小学
nearly all public Junior high schools provide kyushoku.
While school lunches can be traced back to the late 1800s,
when local civilians provided lunches for poor children.
It was during reconstruction after world war two and things got offical.
In 1946 GHQ recommended a systematic of health education
and the school lunch program in Japanese schools.
Japanese government took note
and started provding school lunches
in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area to 250,000 children.
And then expanded the program nationalwide shortly after.
Much funding came from relief aid
provided by foreign goverments and charities.
However, when Janpan regained independence in 1951,
that funding stopped.
And the minister of finance wanted to terminate school lunch subsidies.
However, PTAs from all over Japan opposed this
and in 1954 the school lunch law was enacted.
Before lunch some students ready the classroom for eating
while others settle themselves for food.
It’s all part of the school lunch program.
I’m the principal of Umejima Elementary School in Adachi-ku, Tokyo.
My name is Atsushi Ebara.
Since this’s an elementary school, one thing I wondered
is if the students in different grades have different responsibilities.
Not at all.
Students from grade 1 to 6 have exactly the same duties.
They all dish out food,
but with grade 1 and 2’s
the teachers sometimes support and assist.
But by the time they’re in grade six, they are able to do everything.
What now transpire is a serving of the school lunch
spearheaded by a champion with the clipboard.
you will notice that at the start of this
there is only one student in a white kyoshokuyi are apparent
but what you will see over the course of minute
is how the students trade off and join in to get the job down.
For example, you’ll see the champion take over
and dish up for the first student in line.
All well, other service are geared up.
If you have a keen eye
you will be noticing not everyone currently serving has an apron on
I’m really sure that the aprons are just for show.
But in case you worry about the food safety,
I can tell you that everyone has washed their hands.
Since every kid knows what to do,
they’ve been doing this for six years now.
It was impressive to see how seamlessly they work together as a team.
After a hectic start, all staff are in place.
Now all that left to do is waiting till everyone has been served
– Put your hands together. – Okay.
Itadakimasu (I humbly receive).
The purpose and the role of kyushoku are
for the students to learn that
to have a healthy body, eating is very important.
Secondly, to experience
our own food culture through kyushoku.
Lastly to appreciate the hard work
of many people who are involved in making kyushoku
from farmers to kitchen staff,
to anyone who helps.
All the homeroom teachers eat with their students in the classroom.
What do we have next period? Teacher, teacher!
-A test. -Teacher, the camera is facing towards you.
-有个测验 -老师 摄像机正对着你呢
-So do like this. -I wouldn’t do such a bad manered thing.
As a principal,
I have to eat and check the food
before it’s served to the children.
So I barely have the chance to eat with children.
Yeah, so I forgot to mention that before all the food was served
没错 我忘记说了 在提供所有食物前
before there was someone waiting for the comeout of the elevator
before start it rolling down the hallway, before everything,
it seems like this happened.
No, it wasn’t some damn looking foreigner grinning to dig in,
but the principal doing his duty and eating first.
It just so happened that today i got the chance to do it as well and this smile.
I’m Rie Kuwabara, the school nutritionist.
Kuwabara sensei works at Wumeijima elementary school full time.
Some of her many duties include designing the lunch menu,
that is both nutritious and tasty,
keeping the meal within budget which is about 216 yen each meal
educating the students and apparently filming for me.
In our school, we have a staff of 12.
But with me, there are 13 people working on the school’s lunch.
There are 634 children in the school,
but we have lots of staff,
so we make 690 meals in total.
The food is made from scratch using the in-house commercial kitchen.
If you previously worked in restaurants like I have,
I’m sure you’re also admiring all the stainless steel.
We have food from all over the world,
but basically the vegetables are domestic
and come from the Kanto and even Shikoku areas.
Today I’m introducing food from Kochi prefecture.
Ginger chicken. In Kochi they grow ginger.
Ginger’s essence prevents us from being sick.
Guruni (stew). In Tosa dialect
guru means friends getting together.
This stew is called guruni
because various vegetables are gathered and cooked together.
Basically ingredients are domestic,
but on some occasions
some ingredients are processed in foreign countries.
But basically, fish, meat, vegetables,
但基本上像是鱼 肉 蔬菜
fresh ingredients are domestic.
We buy local ingredients, it’s delivered, and we cook it.
Hold on a second, I want to point out
I had to ask Kuwabara sensei
if I can film the entire meal from start to finish
so this is my second day filming, well her second day.
所以这是我拍摄的第二天 好吧 是她的
But anyways I came to the school especially for the 8 am delivery of meat.
When I saw the food just delivery, I thought that’s it?
This meal has other source of protein?
So yes. This is all the meat for the 690 meals being made.
Oh ya this was the stew where the meat went into.
But let’s get back on track. This may look like another local Japanese home.
But if you walk behind the wall, it’s not quite what it seems.
They pick it like this
all four of them.
How is it? Hard? Difficult ?
-Difficult. -Yeah, difficult.
-很难 -嗯 没错 是有点难
I teach kids that by eating,
we take life from vegetables so that we can live
and we must appreciate this.
Students don’t help cook the food,
but the 1st and 2nd grades
help peel vegetables
like broad beans, corn, and green peas.
Today 2th graders came to my farm
to do their work experience.
Tomorrow for their kyshoku’s edamame rice dish,
the edamame they’re working on will be used.
As you might guess by now, this is a working farm.
And it actually located in the same city not too far away.
I don’t want to pretend that all the protocols for this school come from here
but some items can be grown quite locally
and offers a chance for the students to easily see
where some of their food are grown.
It will be used in the school lunch’s salad.
-Ah, is it okay if I eat it? -Yes, go ahead.
-我能吃吗？ -当然可以 试试
Mm, very sweet.
These are called fruit tomatoes.
And in addition to this nearby farm
there is a garden within the school ground that the children tend to.
This is tiny that will never feed the school.
But it’s rather a place for kids can get their hands dirty
and see the whole process from start to finish.
Every month I plan the menu one month in advance.
First of all, I write down what vegetables are in season.
so that I can cook food that’s in season.
Secondly, there is event food every month.
For example, next month is Tanabata (seasonal festival).
So I’m planning food for the event.
Lastly, we don’t want to use meat many days in a row.
For example, I don’t want to offer chicken today,
and then pork the next day,
so I try to put on the menu,
fish, then meat, then egg, then tofu.
I try to take turns using those ingredients.
And the basic thing is that I have to offer a certain amount of nutrition.
This is regulated by the city.
So I try to hit 100% of the required nutritional targets.
Well, having a menu that hits 100% nutritional target is fantastic.
We all know kids committed meat eaters
so we have to ask.
Are there any ingredients or menus that the kids don’t like?
And do you repeat those items
or do you try to change them?
Because they’re young chidren, there are things they don’t like,
and there are so many things they’ve never eaten before,
so they don’t want to touch it.
So on the day they see ingredients for the first time,
they can be very honest and there’s a lot left behind.
Then that day I get so down,
but when they get used to the food, they’ll eat it,
and I want them to expand their exposure to different types of food.
However I try not to be down,
and I’ll once again offer the food they don’t like
trying to change the flavour a little bit,
change how it’s cooked,
trying different approaches.
As for food researches like allergies
I was informed that depending on the recipe, ingredients can be taken out.
So on certain days there may be special meals like this.
If your moving ingredients can’t be done
a student would substitute by eating more observant dish
since there are several dishes each day.
And that probably answers your next question which is
what happens when someone is still hungry. Not all the kids are the same size.
Students can have a okewati which means seconds.
Do you offer dessert? Dessert, yes I offer it,
-你们提供甜点吗？ -甜点 有的
but it’s not everyday.
It’s on special occasions.
And so, one thing we do is using fruits to mark the change in seasons.
For example, this month it’s watermelons and cantaloupes.
And at our school we have birthday lunches.
So each month the birthday kids
get jelly for their special dessert.
So I think dessert can be something they look forward to.
At Umejima Elementary School
what’s your favourite school lunch menu?
What would you say? Today’s hard worker, Kasuya-san.
Fried rice with sweet sauce.
It’s curry. Ah, -me too.
-咖喱饭 -啊 我也喜欢
We don’t cook the same menu item more than once a month.
For example, curry and rice is very popular,
but I can’t make it every week.
I can offer it once a month,
or once every two months,
but I wouldn’t offer it twice in the same month.
But compared to other menu items, I schedule it more often.
Now let me address the elephant in the room. This is a rich school, isn’t it?
If you taught in japan
you know that heating and cooling in the gym is a rare thing
and what’s up with the open design no wall thing
ok, sure some classes have them
but what’s the deal?
I can totally understand how people would think that.
In reality, it’s nothing like that,
it’s like any other public school in Japan.
It’s not like there are a lot of wealthy people living here.
Sorry to butt in but I want to back up kotyo-sensei on this one.
For Adachi-ku is the poorest of Tokyo’s 23 wards
so yeah definitely not a place known for it’s wealth.
When the school was rebuilt,
Adachi city and the local people
wished for a nice school (for the children).
The rebuild happened during the bubble,
so they had a good budget,
but it’s nothing special,
it’s a regular public school.
But isn’t this school’s lunch special?
Is this school’s lunch special?
No it’s not special.
Kotyo-sensei might say that this meal is nothing special
and in fact, looking at it I’d have to agree that looks rather plain.
That’s only so much you can do with standard dishes
of pink trees and the rush to feed school for a hungry mouth.
However and it’s a big however the flavor was wonderful.
To tell you the truth,
I was expecting a hospital like meal
with all the talk of nutrition and all
but I was pleasantly surprised.
Even though, Japan’s family restaurant present the food nicer
I found the two meals I tried to
be taster and of course healthier
更美味 当然 也更健康
so the cities’ Oishi Kyushoku are tasty
school lunch program is definitely working.
I would eat these meals everyday for my lunch if I could.
Well not every city has a special tasty school lunch program.
Virtually every public elementary school in Japan does provide school lunch.
So how’s it all founded?
Well the national and perfectural government share costs
and there’s a focus on ensuring equality across the nation.
the school system builds the kitchen and pays for staffing
while families cover the cost of ingredients.
As for the families that can’t afford the school lunch fee,
basically for low-income households,
in Japan we have a social welfare system
that will provide the fees.
Adachi city has an Oishi Kyushoku (tasty school lunch program)
because the percentage of adults living in Adachi
with obesity and diaebetes is high.
So with kyushoku we want to educate kids
that to have a healthy body
eating healthy is important.
So Adachi city started the program
so kids could learn the importance of healthy habits
by eating and enjoying tasty food.
In Adachi, once a month there’s an Oishi Kyushoku meeting
that nutritionists from the 104 schools in my city attend.
We gather altogether in one place
to exchange ideas and menu plans.
One of the things I picked up on was
that the food education really was intergrated into the school.
For example, this is the poster for the wumeijima banto (our lunch box) contest
As part of their summer homework parents and
children design their own bentos at home.
We pick out the best ones
and include them in the kyushoku menu.
We then invite the community to come
and eat the chosen menus together.
Thanks for the food.
Thanks for the food.
OK, so this is something I heard rumours of growing up in Canada
and honestly as a student way back then
I thought to myself how lucky was I
that I didn’t need to clean up my school like those poor Japanese students.
But now as a parent I’m like yeah get those kids cleaning
it’ll teach them some responsibility.
Seriously though my kids seem not to mind the cleaning process,
just like these students.
I even got in on the act myself.
The thing I found was that
because Japanese students are told to think about the well being of the group
to think about how their actions affect others
the class was messy to begin with
so cleaning really was not that bad at all.
Even if I have to work harder,
struggling to come up with good menus,
when the kids react well and say tasty,
when they say they’re able to eat food they previously didn’t like,
that makes me feel like it was worth the effort.
Apparently there is no other nationwide
school lunch program like this in the world.
I don’t know for sure
but perhaps you can inform me.
Regardless I think Japan does it well
and while I can’t speak for the rest of the world
I wish Canadian policys would import this
particular Japanese thing.
I have a lot of thanks to give.
Thanks to all the children and teachers would invite me to lunch.
It was a fantastic experience.
Special thanks to Ebara sensei who spare all his efforts
without him willing to take a chance on me
who as he did verify was not that kind of youtuber
I wouldn’t have enabled to share the story with you.
Real special thanks, Kuwabara Sensei
for doing most to my work filming.
Seriously, you see how these workers are geared up, it’s full-on.
and the rule is, no outsiders allowed,
which meant me.
When I suggested putting my camera on a push trolley
she did one better and offered to hold my camera.
Her help put a difference betwteen this faded, looking through the window shots
在她的帮助下 透过这个窗户拍 效果好了很多
and discrease inside the action once that you’re able to see.
It’d also be rude for me not to thank all the kitchen staff working hard in the heat of the kitchen.
Lastly I’d thank all those on Patreon
continue to support projects like this.
Thanks for watching. See you next time. Bye.
感谢观看 下回见 拜拜
What’s school lunch like where you’re from.