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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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 20 Jun 2012 04:44

hisashi wrote:. . . So condensed milk had long history as a civilian good before used as additional foods for flight crews.

It is said that they sold the first 'aisukurin’ (ice cream) ' in 1869.
Early aisukurin was near to sherbet. Low fat (=cream) and with strong flavor (and yellow color) of egg. So it was possible that WWII militarymen enjoyed this kind of milky sherbet or candy bar if situation was good enough.
This sounds similar to ice milk, a product sold in the US in the 1950s-70s but today sold as “low-fat ice cream.” I remember it as passable tasting. But others felt less favorable until new formulations made it taste closer to ice cream.

Military or not, some food tastes of the past might be better appreciated by comparing them to more usual foods of that time.
  • That is what I supposed earlier about condensed milk next to army field rations of salt pork and hardtack.

    Food history author Reay Tannahill was cited earlier about the general origin of curry, relative to IJN curry. She wrote that early canned foods of mid-19th century were not so good, sometimes tasting like the tin can as well as food. But in those days, many ordinary people who ate canned food might never have tasted the fresh equivalents -– or never even seen them. (Tannahill, Food in History revised edition, page 313).

    Author Katarzyna Cwiertka made the point that many Japanese had never before eaten some of the foods that they got as military rations, and liked them. Also quoted earlier about curry, writer Yamamoto Fumihito compared the soldier or sailor’s daily white rice to his village life back home, where he had to eat poorer cereals.
Likewise, might early aisukurin be compared to no sweet iced desserts at all back home? If so, many men would seldom have tasted such a sweet treat, until they went into the IJA or IJN.
====================================
Peter H wrote:Canteen pic
These look like bottled soft drinks (ramune?) although not close or clear enough to see any label. The setting could be another shubo but not enough of it can be seen to tell.

In those days, were there other Japanese sodas besides ramune?
  • Other American ones such as Moxie and Royal Crown were common through the first half of the 20th century . But in time these became second to world-famous Coca-Cola and Pepsi, although they survive as regional brands.
Many flavored sodas began as medicinal drinks. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi carry these origins in their names -- from cocaine and pepsin. Ramune was said to have been first promoted in Japan as a cholera preventative. By the 1910s, American sodas had become more widely available and popular in themselves among the young. In particular, Coca-Cola went overseas with US troops in World War I. Ramune might have some vitamin C, but I would guess it left behind its medicinal start just as quickly as the other sodas.

===================================
Peter H wrote:Barracks meal
I imagine that IJA mealtime would be a time for lively talk, if the soldiers get along well. That’s something every serviceman remembers from his barracks life. These men here do not look so animated. But assuming this one is not posed, every photo is only a split-second of whatever really happened.

What is the square box at the end of the table? It isn’t like the round shokkan in other photos.

===================================
Peter H wrote:From ebay seller, RCWmilitaria: (Troops and pack mules halted for a rest)
Some are eating melons, others take a smoking break. The fruit apparently came from the locals seen here,

One small thing about this photo: it does not look posed or arranged. But possibly the photographer called out to the men, so that they would turn around and look toward his camera. In any case, the pic seems meant to imply good relations with civilians.

-- Alan

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by hisashi » 20 Jun 2012 13:11

>This sounds similar to ice milk, a product sold in the US in the 1950s-70s but today sold as “low-fat ice cream.” I remember it
>as passable tasting. But others felt less favorable until new formulations made it taste closer to ice cream.

In Japan,
ice cream: milkfat 8.0%-
ice milk: milkfat 3.0-8.0%
lact ice: milkfat 3.0%+, no non-fat milk required. Often use oil from other origin. Popular in my childhood but recently not as it was.
hyoka (icy sweet): sherbet, juice bar etc. 'aisukurin' usually contains milkfat less than 3%.

Even today 'aisukurin' taste bar or cup is sold usually as a local nostargic speciality.

In another topics I quoted a primary school teachers' salary was annually 800 yen in 1935. In 1937 Fujiya Restaurant in Yokohama icecleam sandae was 0.3 yen. 3/8000 of ammual income... Considerably expensive. We can eat fairly good supper instead. But not prohibitively expensive. I guess most of soldiers knew it but many of them have not had it at home.
A Navy Commander's Account Book
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5&t=155746
Fujiya's Price List
http://www.fujiya-fs.com/story/1937_1.html

Before refrigerator appeared in Japan ground ice with syrup/sugar/anko was tasted with ices from Hokkaido, or even imported from the U.S. but luxuarious until refrigerator and ice grinder machine became common in 1930s or so.

During 1901-1905, for road construction in Benguet, many Japaneses went to Philippine seeking for workplace. A survivor of immigrant Japanese (2nd generation) remembers some of Japaneses began kakigori store, generally called as 'mongo-ya (mung-bean shop)'. They used red mung bean paste as sustitute of anko.
(in Japanese)
http://navimanila.com/2011/09/%E6%88%A6 ... %E3%83%AD/

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 21 Jun 2012 22:26

Gun crew
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 06 Jul 2012 23:04

Many thanks again, Hisashi. It is just that sense of foodways for an average conscript I was looking for (but guessing at, partly).

The early aisukurin you say is revived for nostalgia sales also sounds comparable to what is often called French ice cream, also made and colored with egg. What Americans call “French vanilla” flavor of true ice cream may descend from that, but meanings and standards change across time and place. I wonder if early aisukurin could have come from French cooking, which was an early model for Western-style food in Meiji Japan. However, the name sounds phonetically like English words ice cream rather than the French word glâce.

History of ice cream is interesting in itself. It seems to have as much disagreement as any other history field. As a luxury there is not great ready detail about it in IJA consumption. And as noted earlier about chocolate, there is little in English about it for Japan in general, although thanks to Hisashi for what we have.

My curiosity is because today’s Japan long ago embraced ice cream as distinctly her own. But unlike curry and ramune, ice cream does not seem to have any especial start with the military –- the IJN in particular. Even if it was popular and more available to IJN ships and bases (same as in the USN).
  • > Generally, the use any new goods often start with the richest people,
    > Then they spread downward through the upper classes, and beyond.
    > In the end, most anyone can afford to have them.
This is the way of a consumer society. It is true of modern things of art and design, technologies, styles, and fashions, but it applies also to food, Before WW2, both Imperial Japan and the US were starting to be consumer societies, although sidetracked by depressions and wars. However, prices were often high in Japan, which would slow or limit this spread of new goods.
hisashi wrote:. . . In 1937 Fujiya Restaurant in Yokohama ice cream sundae was 0.3 yen. 3/8000 of annual income [of a mid-1930s schoolteacher] . . . Considerably expensive. We can eat fairly good supper instead. But not prohibitively expensive. I guess most of soldiers knew it but many of them have not had it at home.
Might the expense of some foods put them in perspective when seeing them in IJA/IJN rations? Not only in prewar, in garrison, or under good conditions. Expanding what Hisashi said:
  • > A young man knows of ice cream. But for him it was not common at home. or in his home town.
    > Then he joins the IJA or IJN and sometimes it is served, or maybe available as extra from the shubo.
    > For he and his mates, it is now more common than before. Yet, it remains fairly expensive for civilians.
Not only ice cream, but other dishes too? Cwiertka’s book also cites similar example to Hisashi’s, about the cost of dining out. Western cookery (yōshoku) had became more common through store cafeterias, railroad dining halls, and some cheaper restaurants. But it was more an urban taste between the wars -– well-known, but not nationwide. (Modern Japanese Cuisine, pages 50-55)

Since enlisted men did not have to pay for their meals (usually), they would not have been concerned with costs. The newer dishes, more meat, and sweets were something of a Japanese soldier’s privilege, like daily white rice. Indeed, white rice was the foremost of those. However, even a few English translations tell how they realized this difference compared to civilians’ diet at home.
  • American GIs were not so much given all-new foods and dishes in their messhalls. They had abundance and variety of what was already available to them as civilians. New dishes were not innovated between the wars, and their combat rations not developed until just before/during WW2.

    On the other hand, IJA soldiers were introduced to some new foods and dishes, some not widely available to them in civil life. Their combat rations were already developed by the early 1930s and quickly used in action, both well ahead of the US Army. Taki and Hisashi have mentioned some of the technical achievements in this line. But in English these seem to be untold outside this Forum.
In fact, Western accounts of IJA supply and rear-area support are mostly about their defeat or destruction. There seems to be little postwar American technical study of IJA/IJN rations, except for the US Naval Technical Mission to Japan (cited earlier). By comparison, German combat rations were studied by the US Army Quartermaster Corps.

====================================
hisashi wrote:Before refrigerator appeared in Japan ground ice with syrup/sugar/anko was tasted with ices from Hokkaido, or even imported from the U.S. but luxurious until refrigerator and ice grinder machine became common in 1930s or so.
Ice was still a commodity in the rural US too, although in declining use up through this same time. The 19th century ice trade from the northern US had reached as far away as British India. Interesting that ice was still exported as far as Japan and this late. Maybe the demand for it must have been enough while the country was still being electrified?
I imagine that at least some peacetime IJA garrisons had ice arrangements, however more IJN stations had ice plants or not. As with white rice and more meat, would the military have had better than civilians in this too? Especially in Japan’s hot humid summers.
hisashi wrote:During 1901-1905, for road construction in Benguet, many Japaneses went to Philippine seeking for workplace. A survivor of immigrant Japanese (2nd generation) remembers some of Japaneses began kakigori store, generally called as 'mongo-ya’ (mung-bean shop). . They used red mung bean paste as substitute of anko.

(in Japanese) http://navimanila.com/2011/09/%E6%88%A6 ... %E3%83%AD/
Thanks also for this. The link’s given address is in Makati, not far from where I grew up in the late 1960s. For me it is interesting to see our halo-halo ice dessert shown in Japanese context, as if back where it came from as kakigori.

Sorry to say, Japanese labor migration is a part of Philippine history that I know little about. We Filipinos are probably much more aware of leaving our own country, than of others going there to live.

Mongo-ya would be a Tagalog word, if also Japanese use. Among the Asian languages, Tagalog is an easy one to learn. But mongo for mung bean also often refers to the heavy vegetable soup mongo guisado made with mung beans, similar to Western pea soups.

-- Alan

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 10 Jul 2012 02:15

From ebay,seller tradereast5gev
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 10 Jul 2012 02:16

From ebay,seller kaiguncurry
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 18 Jul 2012 05:16

Peter H wrote:Gun crew
The crew of a 75mm field gun Type 38 enjoying some food, though we cannot see what it is, It does not look like a meal, but more like a treat they are happy to get. If so, what small sweets might be given them in a pail?

===================================
Peter H wrote:From ebay,seller tradereast5gev: (Individual field soldier eating from messkit)
A good photo that almost makes a portrait, although no one would normally be portrayed while eating. Would he normally have worn regimental numbers on his collar? If so might they have been removed, or censored out here?

One or two rice balls (onigiri) were typically put in the lower part of the messkit. Would the pickled side dishes of fukujinsuke or takuan have been put into the kit’s dish insert above the rice?

===================================
Peter H wrote:From ebay,seller kaiguncurry: (Garrison messing outdoors)
Like similar photos seen earlier, these outdoor feasts look quite special. But they do not readily tell what the occasions were for them. In peacetime, were there certain holidays or commemorative days when such feasts were more likely -- or even common across the Army?

Approximately a company of men are seen here. Most of them look informally dressed. But likely there are many more out of viewfield, as in this earlier feast photo where everyone's uniform is "sharp."

====================================
hisashi wrote:Yokaren (navy pilot program) cadets' meal from a propaganda movie
There is some living detail, even in this short clip.

On the tables, and on the floor at the ends:
  • Navy metal food carrier,
    Another basket-like container is on the floor next to the metal one. Was this perhaps for carrying the bowls to and from table?
    Tea kettle
    Bowls, look like enameled metal
Earlier we have seen several photos of these IJN food containers in use afloat -- and also ashore with Naval Landing Force (at center right in that photo). There seem to be small detail variations among various photos, but.mostly they are the same design.
  • Would this food carrier also be called shokkan, the same as in the Army? Or by a different Navy term?

    Did it hold only rice, or also side dishes? Enough, it seems, for one squad’s mess table (or an NLF squad in the field).

    From our photos it seems that Navy sailors ashore typically ate in their barracks, the same as IJA soldiers. Likewise, Hisashi told us earlier that IJN sailors at sea usually ate meals in their bunk spaces. Does anyone know how typical this was in other navies as well?
Here, rifle racks line the wall (or bulkhead, in proper navy term). Bedding rolls(?) are shelved above the racks.
  • This compares to an earlier photo of a sailors’ mess in another naval barracks. In that other pic, food containers are kept differently atop the ends of tables.

    But In the film, the gear was put on the floor instead. We see this also in an earlier photo showing Army men at table. It is also in Peter H’s pic just now of a garrison outdoor mess scene just above.

    Sailors’ deck caps hang from hooks on the beams overhead. In the earlier pic I had wondered what those hooks were for, since they are seen there too. Probably also for sailors’ peacoats in wintertime?
As a propaganda movie, was this scene filmed inside an actual IJN barracks (kaiheidan)? I think some US and German wartime films were also shot on location that way.
hisashi wrote:. . . In the last scene some boys talked with Japanese Morse that they wanted to eat shiruko (sweet soup) and the leader laughed at their hunger.
▬ ▬ ● ▬ ● ▬ ● ▬ ▬ ● ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ = shiruko spelled out in wabun.

Japanese Morse code (Wabun) would seem less-known to many non-Japanese.
  • Except for one famous use: code signals for the Pearl Harbor attack, especially To Ra To Ra To Ra. When the film Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) was released, some Americans mistakenly thought Tora here meant the Japanese word for “Tiger,” sounding the same as to ra.

    I imagine that Japanese signalers and airmen also had to learn international Morse for the Latin alphabet, as well as wabun? The code “AF” for Midway Island as a target is widely told.
From US Army training camps of World War I, there was a mention similar to that of the shiruko in the film about yokaren:
. . . A study of the complaints [about Army food] revealed that most dissatisfaction was among new troops who, when first separated from the luxuries of home, wrote of their adventures at the mess table. [They enlarged] any lack of home comforts into stories of privation. The more solid food, however, soon became popular, as the hard work in training gave an appetite for sustaining [dishes] rather than for the more fancy foods.
Probably, this was common enough among many young draftees in wartime armies.

-- Alan

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 03 Aug 2012 03:39

Peter H wrote:From ebay,seller gunjinanantiques: More military cadets
Who would be seated at the head table in background here, with uniformed officers at each end? In cadet schools, weren't the teachers often ex-Army officers wearing their uniforms?

Unless cued to do so, the cadets themselves turn around in natural curiosity, to see their photo being taken. They all seem to be wearing white uniforms. Might these be like the the IJA soldier’s white fatigues, also seen here?
  • Mess photos are often not close enough to see what was served -- or here, what cadets might typically eat. Might that be a shokkan on the table? Presumably they were not on Army rations, but probably ate as well as common soldiers did?

    Japanese boys’ traditional school uniforms were said to be modeled on those of Prussian cadets. I think Prussian cadets were supposed to eat simple meals as part of their normal regimen, but that might be said of many cadet schools anywhere of the time.
Is the school in this photo known, like the one in Hiroshima as explained elsewhere by Hisashi? Something inspirational seems to be drawn or written on the chalkboard.

====================================

Katarzyna Cwiertka’s book Modern Japanese Cuisine is a wider social study of Japanese foodways, and not just their military side. She noted that although French cooking had been a Western influence on modernizing Japanese cuisine, this had changed by the early 20th century. Instead, Anglo-American cooking took over as the basis for yōshoku, because it was easier to make and adapt to Japanese ways. (ibid, page 48)

France had been one of the first models for the Japanese military, but there seems little trace of this in IJA field or garrison cookery. On the other hand, British and American food influences are very evident. Maybe this is parallel to taking the British Royal Navy as example for the IJN.

====================================
Peter H wrote:From ebay,seller gunjinanantiques: Quick bite still in march formation
Hard to see near the “stacked” rifles, but might a few men at center be eating onigiri (rice balls)? However, I imagine that all troops on the march will always eat together as a unit, and no men will eat singly at another halt.
Incidentally, I myself had never eaten onigiri until recently. Before then, rice balls seemed a small lunch to me. But now I see that it is satisfying enough. And unlike a Japanese soldier, I did not eat them after a morning’s hard march. So, the WW1 photo’s caption in English might say it very well.

-- Alan

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by hisashi » 03 Aug 2012 12:17

Peter H wrote:From ebay,seller gunjinanantiques: More military cadets
Who would be seated at the head table in background here, with uniformed officers at each end? In cadet schools, weren't the teachers often ex-Army officers wearing their uniforms?

This photo is backed by a large chalk board, which reads 祝出〇 吉田部隊長 and a man with a sword and goggle is sitting on aircraft's seat. 吉田部隊長 = commandant (company-battalion sized unit) Yoshida. I cannot read 〇 but if it was 征, 祝出征 reads 'Congratuations for going to front'. So it is likely army aviation school (there were many), the army version of Yokaren. I am not sure about white fatigue.

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 21 Sep 2012 11:41

From ebay,seller tjsgoodies
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 21 Sep 2012 11:44

Same source

"Fishing"
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 27 Sep 2012 05:14

hisashi wrote:This photo is backed by a large chalk board, which reads 祝出〇 吉田部隊長 and a man with a sword and goggle is sitting on aircraft's seat. 吉田部隊長 = commandant (company-battalion sized unit) Yoshida. I cannot read 〇 but if it was 征, 祝出征 reads 'Congradulations for going to front'. So it is likely army aviation school (there were many), the army version of Yokaren. I am not sure about white fatigue.
Thanks Hisashi, I had mistaken “cadet” in its general meaning of student at a military school. Here they would be technical trainees for military aviation. In the wartime US forces future pilots and flying officers were specifically called “aviation cadets,” apart from any other kind of cadets.

In another thread I was slightly surprised at first to hear that today’s Japanese Maritime SDF continues to wear white work clothing, as had the IJN before it. One of our ex-USN members remembered seeing a modern JMSDF destroyer tie up at dockside. He said their crews wore white work clothing, though such duties got it dirty.
  • Not sure, but I believe that white or off-white canvas or twill was cheap strong fabric. When used in working clothes, its appearance was not so important. Cleaning stained white fatigues might have been just another soldiers’ chore. In the old armies, routine dirty work was digging ground and shoveling horse dung. But modern armies added the grease and grime of trucks, tanks, and airplanes.

    By introducing field jackets in 1941, the US Army was first to officially separate combat uniform from its service uniform. Later it combined combat and fatigue wear, in a way that is almost universal for the world’s armies today. I suppose that the prewar German and Japanese forces were more traditional for keeping their white work clothes? However, even the German Army began to adapt its off-white fatigues into field-gray combat uniforms early in the war.
White fatigues in the messhall here might be like this pic of wearing them in a workshop at Tokorozawa Aviation Maintenance School, from another thread.

Recruits ate meals in their barracks. But those sent to technical schools afterward ate in messhalls? On the other hand, does the blackboard suggest the room is not only a messhall, but also used as a classroom?

===================================
Peter H wrote:From ebay seller, tjsgoodies: (Mess break in field conditions)
Another classic scene of mess break in the field, with rifles stacked -- here along a waterway. However, the men are using rectangular mess kits of a kind we have seen in an earlier photo and even a war artist’s illustration.
  • Two rectangular pans that nest one inside the other, with folding wire handles.
    Generally similar to mess tins used by the British, Austrian, and Hungarian armies of the time,
    and also similar to iJN mess tins.
This kind of mess kit seems good only for serving and eating, but not for cooking and carrying the rice ration. I have an impression that some officers’ private-purchase mess kits might be rectangular like this, but I found no reliable source for it.

One of these kits lies open in the foreground. Conceivably it could have belonged to the photographer, who was busy taking photos just then. There is a soldier’s belt with ammunition pouches next to the mess kit.

===================================
Peter H wrote:Same seller: (“Fishing”)
Certainly there were many fishermen in the Japanese forces. But the busy landing craft in the background suggests that operations are underway here.
  • Might fishing seem unlikely at such a moment? The men are also wearing their field equipment.
    If so, what else could they be doing?
    If not so, what can be caught among shoreline rocks and shallows? Crabs?
-- Alan

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by hisashi » 02 Oct 2012 12:51

>Recruits ate meals in their barracks. But those sent to technical schools afterward ate in messhalls? On the other hand,
>does the blackboard suggest the room is not only a messhall, but also used as a classroom?

Throughout the history of IJA, formal smallest organ was a company; any company leader received an order to name him as the leader of so-so company in so-so regiment. On the other hand, other officers in the company were officially 'at the disposal of regimental leader' and the leader allotted them to each company. Size and inner structure of each company could be changed in needs. I have heard of a regiment, which had companies different each other on their soldiers' numbers, because their barracks had rooms of various area!

I guess this was a special farewell supper. They usually ate in several rooms but that day they gathered the largest room available, a large classroom, to say goodbye to their teacher.

>This kind of mess kit seems good only for serving and eating, but not for cooking and carrying the rice ration. I have
>an impression that some officers’ private-purchase mess kits might be rectangular like this, but I found no reliable source for it.

Again I can only guess, but if a troop had a day-long exercise, cooking staffs prepared rice and side dishes in each mess kit for their lunch. But apparently these baskets are not suitable for marching soldiers. They might be carried in by a civilian catering shop and later they picked them up after lunch.

>Might fishing seem unlikely at such a moment? The men are also wearing their field equipment.
>If so, what else could they be doing?
>If not so, what can be caught among shoreline rocks and shallows? Crabs?

http://niftsuri.cocolog-nifty.com/okapp ... -d091.html

This is a report of crab fishing in Chiba prefecture. On the ebb, they throw a tiny net and wait for several minutes till 100-meter-long string becomes tense. Then they reel the web and find some crabs caught in the net. I am not sure soldiers did the same thing but they might get something edible.

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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 27 Nov 2012 05:27

hisashi wrote:. . . I guess this was a special farewell supper [for aviation school graduates]. They usually ate in several rooms, but that day they gathered the largest room available, a large classroom, to say goodbye to their teacher.
If so, I can’t think of any comparable photos in other armies. Was a good farewell supper customary then, for some deploying units or graduating trainee classes? At least, maybe before the Pacific war. In saying goodbye, also, it sounds like the traditional respect given to schoolteachers in Japan.

Even though these aviation men are not combat troops, they may have assignments toward the front as Hisashi surmised from the blackboard. In the Imperial forces we have seen other mention of farewell suppers :
  • Feasts aboard the great warships Shinano and Yamato on the eve of battle (both told earlier here).
    Fine suppers for kamikaze or kaiten pilots upon their graduation.

    Even, a group of IJA soldiers holding out on Guam after the Americans retook it. After long and anxious debate among themselves, they finally decided to surrender together. As told in another thread, they made a small feast the night before, sharing whatever little food they had been able to keep. They sang some songs from home, and prayed for their dead comrades. The next morning they made their way down to an American tank route, fearful about their fate in enemy hands –- and unable to imagine what actually was to happen.
Sometimes, didn’t samurai of old Japan have a traditional special meal before battle? These modern dinners seem distantly akin to it.

===================================
hisashi wrote:
Sewer King wrote:This kind of mess kit [a rectangular one seen in photo] seems good only for serving and eating, but not for cooking and carrying the rice ration. I have an impression that some officers’ private-purchase mess kits might be rectangular like this, but I found no reliable source for it.
Again I can only guess, but if a troop had a day-long exercise, cooking staffs prepared rice and side dishes in each mess kit for their lunch. But apparently these baskets are not suitable for marching soldiers. They might be carried in by a civilian catering shop and later they picked them up after lunch.
If homeland troops might have a catered meal under some conditions, that seems a good treat though maybe not common.

Although similar only in rectangular shape to those other ones, here is the earlier photo of what I supposed was an officer’s mess kit, privately purchased.
  • I always imagined that field-grade officers normally had soldiers cook their meals in the field, Did company-grade officers also, and maybe they ate together as a group apart from their men?
===================================
hisashi wrote:
Sewer King wrote:Might fishing seem unlikely at such a moment [while landing operations are taking place]? The men are also wearing their field equipment.
>If so, what else could they be doing?
>If not so, what can be caught among shoreline rocks and shallows? Crabs?
This is a report of crab fishing in Chiba prefecture . . . I am not sure soldiers did the same thing but they might get something edible.
Thanks Hisashi, for I myself know only little about fishing.

Field soldiers are often good at improvising, but Japanese ones seemed especially good at finding local wild foods. Even if posed, various photos we have seen seem to show pride and joy in it. Foraging seemed a regular thing even under good field conditions, as caught on camera. It was when foraging became the only means of food, that it was told mainly in grim accounts by survivors.

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Peter H wrote:
Sewer King wrote:. . . Large white tents (four are in sight} used by Navy landing forces, to judge from the sailor in “blues” [and] white gaiters in the background . . .
Taki detailed the Army’s rolling kitchens (yasen suijisha) for us. Surely, Navy Landing Forces did not have them? We have seen at least one photo of an improvised NLF field kitchen, probably in China(?)

In the photo of white tents, there looks something like a stove in the background. Might it also be improvised, if NLF troops did not have rolling kitchens? This seems like a bivouac -- where some cooking or water-boiling might be needed, at least for awhile.

-- Alan

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hisashi
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Location: Tokyo,Japan

Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by hisashi » 28 Nov 2012 15:18

Sewer King wrote:
hisashi wrote:. . . I guess this was a special farewell supper [for aviation school graduates]. They usually ate in several rooms, but that day they gathered the largest room available, a large classroom, to say goodbye to their teacher.
If so, I can’t think of any comparable photos in other armies. Was a good farewell supper customary then, for some deploying units or graduating trainee classes? At least, maybe before the Pacific war. In saying goodbye, also, it sounds like the traditional respect given to schoolteachers in Japan.

Even though these aviation men are not combat troops, they may have assignments toward the front as Hisashi surmised from the blackboard. In the Imperial forces we have seen other mention of farewell suppers :
Alan, It's upside down, It was the teacher who was transferred to field aviation unit. And students see after him.

In Japan school year begins in April and spring vacation is very short. Teachers transfer on 1 Apr and in local-government-owned schools all transfer go open on local newspaper on 31 Mar. Usually every school hold a farewell ceremony just after that day, during spring vacation, without lunch. But in army school they live together...

On the other hand, most primary schools and some junior high schools provide students' lunch using city catering center. Graduates often have some special occasion near their graduation. In some school they have lunch with their lower-class mates together, and in other inviting their parents. They enjoy special menu that day.

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