Food rations in the Japanese forces

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
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Sewer King
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Post by Sewer King » 09 Feb 2008 18:00

Peter H wrote:Supplements--icecreams in Manila.
The permit's date on the vendor's cart is a temptation to approximate the date of the photo. It seems well before the surrender of April 1942, with the Phil-Am defenders still fighting, and probably soon after the Japanese entered Manila.

If so, I wonder slightly if the vendor had been paid for his ice cream cones afterwards.
hisashi wrote:This tuna ham went to market in 1938 but during the war it was stopped. Until 1950s tuna was mainly used but later they used surimi of various fish with the improvement of freezing technology... it seems that IJA supplied fish mainly as canned form (typically salmon).
It does prompt the question of how the Japanese fishing fleet fared early in the war. There are some studies, but few enough, of Japan's merchant marine. Canned fish in the Japanese garrison ration seem to have simply been commercial varieties.
a white rabbit wrote:..i'm aware of it's use as a bio-fuel, but i doubt the possibility of producing it in large enough quantities to be of a great use ...let alone something that is so heavy on human labour as coconut-oil. If you have stocks then fine, like maybe on a japanese-held island with no or very little shipping available, for a short while, yup, but then ?..
It was the Filipinos who made small use of the coconut diesel fuel, so it was economical for their local use at the time. But like many other breakthroughs we often hear about, they often never make it into wider use and that seldom gets as widely told.
a white rabbit wrote:..to paraphrase Ignatius Loyola, " give me an under-educatated tribesman for three years and i will either break-him, or give you a Master-Gardener with the ability to feed his family and his village"..
I have never studied enough about the history of the Jesuits. In the long run, how many broken tribesmen vs. master gardeners did they make?
Pax Melmacia wrote:IIRC the venerable Philippine halo-halo (a concoction of crushed ice topped with ice cream and fruits, beans, and, yes, coconut packed in syrup came from Japanese civilians living in the Philippines before the war. (The name means something like mish-mash. I wonder if the ice cream is a recent addition.)
As a Filipino I had never heard that before. It does seem to make some sense for the use of sweetened beans. Sweetened ices are found throughout history in many places such as old Europe, Mughal India, and colonial America. If there is a Japanese equivalent to our halo-halo --or its predecessor -- maybe one of our Japanese members can say.

At that, I have only a general idea of the Japanese civilian presence in the prewar Philippine Commonwealth. I have heard that they were in the Davao area, that some ran bicycle shops as good local businesses, and that they were particularly useful to the occupying IJA. If halo-halo truly did originate with them, I almost expect that they were the vendors as well.

When I grew up, halo-halo was made with condensed milk rather than ice cream. I seem to remember that milk products in the RP, such as Magnolia brand, came largely from Australia. Japanese took up ice cream (aisukarimu) only after the war. It seems too much to put ice cream on halo-halo, with the shaved ice and all the other toppings. But then some Filipinos make strange things with foods that are hard to explain or understand, even for others among us.

The IJN aviators of Kido Butai were served American milkshakes at one point, while their carriers were en route to attack Pearl Harbor.

-- Alan

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 10 Feb 2008 00:51

Don't some Asian peoples have lactose intolerance problems and can't handle diary milk products?

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Sewer King
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Post by Sewer King » 11 Feb 2008 04:54

Statistically many Asians are lactose-intolerant, as are various other ethnic groups. Although this condition or trait is understood there seem to be well-researched degrees of difference about how much milk can cause the problem, at what ages, and among whom within a given group. Since the end of the war, Japan consumes far more cow milk than it ever had before. But is there more to the idea that the Japanese who grew up since the war were those who drank more milk, and thus were more able to keep digesting it?

In the single case of Japanese naval aviators approaching Pearl Harbor, the small amount of milk in a milkshake may have posed no particular problem. Lactose intolerance may cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and whatever pains and indisposition these bring. If it had been a problem for the aircrews of such a momentous mission, they would have been ill-served – quite literally.

I am almost certain that astronauts and high-altitude pilots also have to pass similar considerations, so to speak.

-- Alan

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 11 Feb 2008 07:28

Thanks Alan.

During the Malaya advance--something mobile.Food?Letters?Supplies?
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Post by Pax Melmacia » 13 Feb 2008 03:20

As the milkshake story shows, milk (and, presumably, dairy products) was already known in Japan back then. But I recall that milk became more popular due to its widespread distribution as part of the US post-war relief program to Japan.

That photo made me wonder how the Japanese found our 'dirty ice cream'.

(To the others, DIC is the affectionate term Filipinos give to ice cream produced by backyard entrepreneurs in contrast to the ones by the big companies. This comes from our mothers' constant admonition to avoid the stuff, which was 'dirty'. But for myself and many Filipinos, it tastes better than any multinational's product. Ever hear of cheese ice cream?)

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Post by Pax Melmacia » 13 Feb 2008 03:23

During the Malaya advance--something mobile.Food?Letters?Supplies?
What does the sign on the truck say?

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Post by Akira Takizawa » 13 Feb 2008 06:11

Peter H wrote:During the Malaya advance--something mobile.Food?Letters?Supplies?
Water

Taki

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Post by Sewer King » 15 Feb 2008 02:50

Pax Melmacia wrote:That photo made me wonder how the Japanese found our 'dirty ice cream'.

(To the others, DIC is the affectionate term Filipinos give to ice cream produced by backyard entrepreneurs in contrast to the ones by the big companies.)
I don't think Filipino vendors would have told their Japanese army customers any such thing any more than they heeded it themselves -- or even despite it.

Similarly, I remember my cousin from Batangas province telling me not to eat those chicharron (pork rinds) because you don't know what the hell they were fried in. I ate them anyway and scarcely heard of anyone not doing so because they were dirty. Though nowadays I scarcely eat them unless as a topping for pancit.

There is also Sarsi soda (root beer), which had a little brown sediment at the bottom of the bottle that I trusted was sarsparilla root.

Speaking of dirty food, remember writing this in another thread?
Pax Melmacia wrote:The family mansion was transformed into a Japanese garrison or some such. On finding the house's enamel chamberpots, Japanese troops, apparently unaware of their purpose, used them as cooking vessels.
Presumably they never found out what they really were. I told this item to my mother, who remembers such pots from her childhood in Rizal province in the 1920s. You can imagine the face she made.
Sewer King wrote:some Filipinos make strange things with foods that are hard to explain or understand, even for others among us.
Pax Melmacia wrote:Ever hear of cheese ice cream?
Cheese ice cream was exactly I had in mind. On a visit to the Philippines some years ago, my parents came across it and were aghast at the idea. New York Times food writer Raymond Sokolov mentioned it in his world food travelogue Why We Eat What We Eat (Summit Books, 1991), page 55-56:
... Filipinos, it turns out, could embrace almost anything from abroad and make it their own. They could, for example, grate processed cheese into rich carabao-milk ice cream to produce a horrible-sounding but seductive contrast between the unctuously rich sweetness of the ice cream and the tangy chewiness of the cheese -- something I tasted in ... Laguna, south of Manila.
Sokolov makes passing mention that in modern-day Manila vendors may sell Adidas (chicken feet), Walkman (pig's ears), or I.U.D. (barbecued chicken entrails on a stick). But before disgusting anyone abroad further, I thought that all these things were comparatively recent to judge from their names. Many visitors to the RP learn what balut is, a youngling poultry egg still in its shell, stifled and fermented to be eaten straight.

Japanese soldiers must have had the same reaction to it as most foreigners --- some kind of Pinoy chemical weapon.
Pax Melmacia wrote:What does the sign on the truck say?
Akira Takizawa wrote:Water
At least two men are holding canteens and a third is bringing a pail. Unfortunately we cannot see how water is being dispensed, since I wonder if the truck is carrying either a water filtration unit or simply a water tank. No one is lining up for it.

The truck's cab is hard to see from this angle, but is it identifiably a Japanese make? I myself know few IJA truck types and this at least does not look like the Type 94 that mounted the Ishii water filters.

-- Alan

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Post by Akira Takizawa » 15 Feb 2008 05:22

Sewer King wrote:The truck's cab is hard to see from this angle, but is it identifiably a Japanese make? I myself know few IJA truck types and this at least does not look like the Type 94 that mounted the Ishii water filters.
I think that it is a standard Nissan 80 Truck only carrying a water tank on platform.

Taki

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Post by Peter H » 15 Feb 2008 05:36

Northern China--what are they doing here?Laundry?Mixing?
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Post by Akira Takizawa » 15 Feb 2008 05:55

Peter H wrote:Northern China--what are they doing here?Laundry?Mixing?
It is Mochitsuki. See below about Mochitsuki.

http://home.att.net/~guyurata/Text/Mochitsuki.html

Taki

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Post by Peter H » 15 Feb 2008 06:17

Thanks Taki

Peter

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 17 Feb 2008 01:39

Cooking yams?
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Pax Melmacia » 27 Feb 2008 07:50

I wonder if balut (duck embryos boiled in their shell) would have been so alien to the Japanese. I understand the Vietnamese - and others perhaps - had them, too, although they preferred their embryos more developed.

There is one dish I read about in a Filipino author's WW2 memoirs that is so revolting I cannot bring myself to relate it here. Anyone may send me a personal message if you want the details.
Statistically many Asians are lactose-intolerant, as are various other ethnic groups. Although this condition or trait is understood there seem to be well-researched degrees of difference about how much milk can cause the problem, at what ages, and among whom within a given group.
I, myself, am mildly lactose-intolerant. I can drink a couple glasses of milk with no effect, but any more, and it's a trip to the 'White House'.

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 30 Mar 2008 18:24

Peter H wrote:Cooking yams?
I can't be sure of what they are preparing, though rootstock vegetables are likely. They seem to be using a collapsible canvas bucket and a wooden steamer basket{?} with lid.

---------------------------------

The successful Japanese evacuation of Kiska in July 1943 is well known, but there is a good-natured footnote to it . Has the following been mentioned anywhere else, or anything like it elsewhere? From Joseph D. Harrington's book about Nisei in US military service, Yankee Samurai (Detroit, Michigan: Pettigrew Enterprises, Inc, 1979), page 110:
... the Americans and Canadians found there were no occupants of the island except three yellow dogs and one cat. The Japanese, executing as slick a getaway as they had done from the western end of Guadalcanal six months before, slipped off Kiska days before. They did leave the [American] Nisei a gift, however, a cave full of food with a sign in Japanese that said, more or less, "Help yourself. This food is not poisoned." {Nisei commander] John White's men did not seal the food caves as ordered by the task force commander. Instead, according to Shigeo Ito, "we partook voraciously. Such things as tsukemono, Mandarin oranges, nori, bamboo shoots, and so forth." White said there was "lots of rice, clams, and canned meat. The Nisei were their own chefs, and our intelligence detachment became the most popular unit in the command."
In some ways the Japanese garrisons in the Aleutians seem to have been fairly well-provided. Some of them had built serviceable barracks with plumbed water supply. The captured rations Ito mentioned sound like the best ones listed in the wartime US Handbook of Japanese Military Forces, TM-E 30-480. And the Americans, not only the Nisei, were just as happy to eat them as the Marines on Guadalcanal were.

The lack of food was such a barometer of hardship for Japanese troops during the war. Why did the Japanese leave these rations so courteously to the Americans, even meaning to allay suspicion of poison? It seems simply that they knew it was good food and wished to see it eaten, even by the enemy, rather than destroyed in waste. My belief is that some particular Japanese officer felt this way. Aren't there similar stories from the civil wars of old Japan?

-- Alan

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