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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Peter H
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 04 Jun 2009 11:34

Goats on the menu?
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 04 Jun 2009 11:37

Wild birds?
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Sewer King
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Sewer King » 07 Jun 2009 16:35

Thanks as always Peter.
Peter H wrote:Shanghai again - looks like a civiiian noodle cart
I think so too. The cart is pulled by hand. Coincidentally, or perhaps naturally, it looks like a smaller simple version of the rolling field kitchen common among many armies through both World Wars. This was usually a one- or two-axle drawn or towed cart. Typically it had a firebox, chimney, and boiler at the back, with storage bins for foodstuffs and cooking tools in front.
Peter H wrote:In the trenches
The WW1 Japanese Army did not experience the trench warfare of the Western Front, but it set an early example for it in 1904 and some later example in China. Although the static nature of trench fighting might be easier for field kitchens I have never heard any good mention of food from there, compared to other front-line settings. This is likely because the ugliness of trench life colors the reports and memory of food there as much as it did everything else. But Japanese troops were not as horribly deadlocked in their trenches as others would be ten years later. In all likelihood it probably had no particular effect on their field cookery, although we have seen a few pictures of it here.
Peter H wrote:Goats on the menu?
As seen from our various photos here and elsewhere, the yosegaki was versatile -- for morale, for parade, as a basket, or a suncloth; for bathing, and for light comedy.
Peter H wrote:Wild birds?
A certain large wild bird egg was prized by the garrison at Rabaul (cited earlier). On another island I can't remember, a particular bird population was virtually wiped out by foraging Japanese soldiers for the same reason. But this private is holding what look like new hatchlings, which would not seem scarcely enough for any meal. It would be a short stretch to imagine that the mother bird was already "bagged" for the pot.

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

continued from Cwiertka, cited earlier, pages 70- 71:
Modernizing Military Catering

… Ishiguro Tadanori (1845-1941), the first Surgeon General of the Japanese Army, who was responsible for the introduction of the system of military catering in 1871, did not fully apprehend the range of measures [for it to work properly]. Catering fell under the joint responsibility of the accountant and military surgeon of each division, and no institution that was to coordinate the distribution of provisions or to advise on [army messing issues]. The lack of coordination, disunity, and inefficiency represented the general state of the nineteenth-century Japanese army …

The first establishment to coordinate the allocation of provisions to the front was prompted by the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1894, and its functioning left much to be desired. So in March 1897 the army authorities set up the Central Provisions Depot, which was to operate in both wartime and peacetime. Until 1945, when the Imperial Japanese Army was dissolved, the depot was chiefly responsible for conducting research and coordinating production and distribution of military rations and catering equipment, and at time of war for provisioning the front. The organizational structure of the depot was continuously reformed, and the number of personnel fluctuated. For example, between 1907 and 1911 the number of employees doubled, reaching 95; it shrank to 95 by 1937, but swelled up again during the following years to reach the all-time maximum of 571 in 1944. The depot operated through its main branch in Tokyo, and regional bureaus and local branches. In 1940, three regional bureaus – in Osaka, Ujina (now part of Hiroshima) and Hoten (now Shenyang, China) – were in operation, supported by local branches in Naganyama, Sendai, Niigata, Nagoya, Moji (now part of Kitakyushu), Dairen (now Dalian, China), and Rashin (now Najin, North Korea).

Until the 1920s, the activities of the depot were primarily logistical, and only marginally concerned with other aspects of military catering. Issues related to the health of the troops, such as the decision to serve white rice or a rice-barley mixture to the soldiers, were left entirely to the discretion of the Military Medical College and the Surgeon General’s office. The Army Accounting College, in turn, was responsible for educating paymasters who coordinated catering in each division. In 1920 the responsibility for reforming army catering was finally placed under central coordination of the Army Provision Corps.
Was the Army Provision Corps the same as the Intendance Department (Keiribu) told in common English-language references?. Might this department have first been modeled on that of the French Army?

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

Meanwhile, in the galleys of the early Imperial Navy around this same time (Cwiertka, pages 72-75):
The situation was very different in the navy, where a system of central food control had been in operation since 1890. The introduction of such a system was necessary in order to implement the reforms aimed at fighting beriberi [vitamin B1 deficiency]. Surgeon-General Takagi’s proposed Westernized diet proved too costly in the long run, but the measures revolutionized navy catering. After 1890 provisions were distributed centrally by the Munitions Bureau of the Navy Ministry, instead of the hitherto local procuring by paymasters. This made the navy much less vulnerable to the local availability of foodstuffs. Moreover, the rations became standardized, with the amount of calories, protein, fat and other nutrients to be provided to all marines [sic] specified by the central authorities and the guidelines distributed to the paymaster of each ship. The central authorities determined in detail the kinds and amounts of food that each sailor was to consume regardless of location, even suggesting how the food was to be cooked.
  • Wartime menu, composition of navy rations [1904]
    type of food, minimum amount in grams

    Bread, 187.5
    Preserved meat, 150
    Dry provisions, 75
    Sugar, 22.3
    White rice, 375
    Broken barley, 131.3
    Tea, 1.8
    Fish, 150
    Roasted barley flour, 3.8
    • Suggested menu:
      • Breakfast: a boiled mixture of white rice, broken barley and roasted wheat, dried fish and aubergine [eggplant] simmered in miso, pickles.

        Lunch: bread, beef stew with potatoes and onions

        Dinner: a boiled mixture of white rice, broken barley and roasted barley flour, simmered beef and taros, pickles

        Additional: sweet azuki bean soup
The very nature of seafaring already required more careful provisioning than was the case with land forces, which could (at least in theory) always procure food locally. The introduction of a central food-control system further reinforced the commitment to good quality catering in the navy. The following statement included in the cookbook published by the Navy Educational Division in 1918 reflects this attitude:
It can be said that the quality of the military cookery and the adequacy of the menus directly influence soldiers’ nourishment, fighting spirit and combat strength. Moreover, food gives us mental comfort, and sharing meals harmonizes hearts and raises affection. In other words, peace and harmony on the ship demonstrate themselves at the table.
It seems safe to assume that Navy sailors ate their barley, unpopular as it might have been to some of them. Reportedly, Army messes would sometimes exclude or remove barley from their rice and leave it for the Koreans. But sailors could not do that because they did not cook their own meals, as field soldiers sometimes did.

Surgeon-General Takagi was the one who said that “it is as important for the men to have good food as it is [gun]powder.” Since the Navy’s food was then handled by its Munitions Bureau, it almost seems as if this was a basis for Takagi’s pronouncement. This paralleled Napoleon’s famous saying that “an army marches on its stomach” -- which dated from around the invention of canning, the first industrial food technology.

Like James Lind finding a remedy for scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) in the 18th century British Navy, Takagi was a leader in his time in finding a remedy for beri-beri (vitamin B1 deficiency). Isolating the vitamins themselves lay further ahead. But both Lind and Takagi made the certain nutritional breakthroughs to which their navies would eventually catch up. However, it took almost 50 years for the Royal Navy to put Lind’s findings into wide official practice -- although just in time for it to defeat Napoleon at sea. By comparison, the Imperial Japanese Navy promptly took up Takagi’s findings.

Before World War I, French Army troops in the field were supposed to cook and eat together in small-unit messes to help foster a “moral link” among them*. Although the IJN cookbook view here is the only other comparable expression of this I know of, other countries’ armies and navies at times may have had a similar ideal of their men cooking and eating together.

*Vauvillier, Francis. “The French Infantry in 1914.” Militaria magazine, No. 21, November 1995, page 45

-- Alan
Last edited by Sewer King on 13 Jun 2009 13:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Peter H
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 00:29

Thanks Alan,interesting information.

Here's a series of photos on kiln cooking.

First wood is sourced,cut.
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Peter H
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 00:30

Wood into kiln,all fired up.
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 00:38

NLF "Iron Chefs" ( Ryōri no Tetsujin ) :)
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 00:40

Army kitchen 1932
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 00:42

Manchuria
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 10:15

Goose
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 10:19

Mealtime
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 10:22

Southern China,bananas
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 08 Jun 2009 10:31

Rice stockpile
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 15 Jun 2009 11:00

Rounding up ducks. :roll:
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 15 Jun 2009 11:05

Camp at night
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Re: Food rations in the Japanese forces

Post by Peter H » 15 Jun 2009 11:18

From Time-Life Japan At War,1980.

Homefront:
..Rising Sun lunches,so called because of their resemblance to the Japanese national flag.The meal consisted of a pickled red plum set in a field of white rice..
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