School Lunch and Sobetsukai Food

Thursdays are my usual day to post about the previous week’s food in Japanese Junior High and Elementary Schools.    The Heisei 23 school year is out, however, so below last Thursday’s Meal I’ve included some pictures of the kinds of food served at the more formal school sobetsukais I attended.

Thursday March 22

MTJ Level 5

Milk, millet rice, baked salmon, sesame dressed spinach salad, dashi soup, satsuma potato mochi

This meal was on the high side of Japanese, and was decent as the last meal served for the school year (though the previous day’s curry rice would have been the favorite for last meal.  It was in fact the last meal for Elementary students, and this meal was for Junior High alone).  It was a decent meal but nothing to scream home about.  I ate with some of my second graders, who will be third years in a week.

The high point for the meal was the satsuma potato mochi.  Satsuma potatoes are sweet yellow potatoes similar to the benimo common in Okinawa.  I challenged my students to rock, paper, scissors for their and my mochi, but there were no takers.  It was a favorite enough dessert that no one was willing to risk losing theirs!

Sobetsukai Food

Goodbye parties means good food.  March marks the end of the official school year, and with that usually about a 1/3 of the staff move to new posts, since most government workers rotate positions every 1-5 years.  Sobetsukais are the send off, so here’s some of the food we had.  These are from two Junior High School’s sobetsukais which took place at local hotels, as well as a large scale party put on by the PTA.