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The secret of January 22 - Curry Day (カレーの日)



January 22 is Curry Day (カレーの日) in Japan.

In 1982, School Dietitian Conference of Japan celebrated the 35th anniversary of school meal (Kyushoku or 給食), and decided to start serving curry rice on every January 22.

In 2011, January 22 is Saturday. It's Sunday in 2012. So they didn't serve curry rice.

If January 22 is school day, Japanese schools will more likely to serve Japanese curry rice. They simply chose curry rice because kids love it.


History of Kyushoku (school meal or 給食) in Japan

The origin of Kyushoku goes back to 1889. An elementary school in Yamagata started serving rice ball, grilled fish, pickles to the poor students who couldn't eat well at home. However, the pre-WWII Kyushoku system had never sophisticated.

In 1946, after the Word War II, current Kyushoku system started in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Chiba as trial.

In January of 1947, after the trial, they started providing school lunch to 3 million kids in major cities of Japan.

The post-war Kyushoku system couldn't start without the help of a Japanese Americans.

On January 22nd, 1946, Shichinosuke Asano (浅野七之助) formed Nihon Nanmin Kyusai Kai (日本難民救済会) in San Fransisco, California, USA to help starving people in Japan.



Despite the hostile circumstances toward Japanese, they later formed LALA (Licensed Agencires for Relief in Asia). The first ship arrived in Yokohama on November 30, 1946.


LALA Memorial Monument in Yohohama, Japan


The 20% of the aid was provided by Japanese immigrants of North and South America. The aid continued through 1952. Some sources said the aid accumulated over 40 billion yen.

Thanks to this aid, they were able to provide Kyushoku throughout Japan in 1946.

Unfortunately, many Japanese don't know the fact. It partly because SCAP treated the aid as from the US government. (SCAP is the allied force occupied post-war Japan for 7 years)

Source from Wikipedia ( this, & this ), this and City of Morioka website


January 22 is the Curry Day (カレーの日)

From now on, on January 22, all Japanese should eat Japanese curry rice and appreciate the help from old Japanese immigrants in North and South Americas.

Without these help, Japanese wouldn't be able to fulfill their stomach and created electronics, manga and animes.

Therefore, today, I ate microwaved curry dria at lunch.


And I ate pork cutlet curry (トンカツ・カレー) at dinner.


Another reasons why YokosoNews should cover curry rice.



Katz Ueno
As the Editor-in-chief & Producer of YokosoNews, Katz wants to show Japan to the rest of the world. Read more »