June 15th, Friday:
- White Fish and Tofu Dumpling Soup (White Fish, Tofu, Daikon Radish, Chinese Cabbage, Green Onion, Carrot)
- Simmered Cabbage and Potatoes (Cabbage, Potato, Carrot, Pork)
- Westcap Broiled Red Fish
Westcap broil is a dish made by broiling sliced fish that has been thoroughly marinaded in sake, mirin, and a sweet white miso made in Kyoto called “westcap miso”. If you research it, you will be suprised at how far back the history of miso extends.
Today’s lunch was tasty in a homey sort of way. It is the sort of comfortable thing I would like to eat on a rainy day.
Students, in other words, children often say they dislike school lunch or dislike going to school. This was most certainly true in my hometown and I think it is true here in Japan too. However, I think most adults know that is an incrediably spoiled, selfish, and unjustified attitude. The privelage of getting to eat an inexpensive, healthy, high-calorie hot meal full of variety, without even having to prepare it yourself is amazing. Likewise, being able to spend all day at school, just sitting and learning! That is such a precious privelage. When Japan was first opened to the West, the Japanese gained a reputation for diligence. The stories of people like Ninomiya Sontoku, who studied every spare second he could find, and Yoshida Shoin, who used to recite his lessons with his father as they plowed the feilds together, make this reputation well earned. Which is why I feel so sad today when I see one of my students staring blankly, just hoping for class to be over. I can’t help but ask myself: why do students dislike school now? Why has learning become detestable?
I feel if I could figure out the answer to this question, I could help them rediscover how wonderful learning is. I mean, even I, whose main hobby is studying, sometimes felt school was a cage when I was in high school. So I think the answer is related to schooling (and lunch, as well) becoming compulsory. But it is not simply that.