School Lunch in Japan Wowed The World!

What was your lunchtime like when you went to primary school? One video on school lunch in Japan has hit more than 8 million views on YouTube. This video brought back my memory of my school days and I am sure that it is such an inspiration to our readers on Discovery Japan, so let us share it with you today. It is full of ideas how children can learn basic manners in school!




The video was made by a documentary filmmaker and environmental advocate Atsuko Sateke Quirk living in New York City. She was shocked to see the school lunch at her children’s primary school. Kids wasted food, they did not throw away their trash and the floor was messy but they did not care. So she decided to show school lunch managers and executives in New York City the video on Japan’s school lunch.


First they were surprised to see that the cooking workers peel and cut vegetables by their hands. The workers cook 720 meals every day at this school.


Lessons in the morning is over. The children wash their hands before the lunchtime. And they set up the tables, wear smock.


Meanwhile, the lunch duty children pick up the meals to the cooking room. They do not forget to tell “Thank you!” to the cooking workers.


Then lunch is served to everybody by the lunch duty of the day, not by food service workers. They help each other.


Itadakimasu! is a phrase the Japanese say before meals, it means “Thank you for the delicious meal.” The teacher eat together with them.


They recycle milk container after eating every day.


After the lunchtime, all children clean the school. Yes, they do that every day. Then lessons in the afternoon begin.


This is a typical school lunchtime in all over Japan. The school lunch managers in New York City were very impressed by the video. Atsuko-san started volunteering on sorting and reducing the school lunch garbage. She has then started an NPO to teach schools in New York the Japanese style school meals.


The video has become very popular and it is now tranlated in 7 other languages. Many people wrote comments on YouTube. What did you think of this video? Let us know what the school lunch is like in your country!

Licensed material used with permission by Documentary Filmmaker and Environmental Advocate Atsuko Satake Quirk