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Issue 22

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In Japan, Men are Learning to Cook

Aya Takehisa from Japan

Chihiro Takehisa is a good cook.
Photo: Aya Takehisa
My husband, Chihiro Takehisa, can cook better than me.


These days, the custom that wives should cook has changed in Japan, especially people in their 20's and 30's tend to think so. Among couples in that age group, both spouses have jobs, so they tend to think that sharing the housework is normal.

But not everyone that age agrees because husbands don't have enough chance to know how to cook. Up to now they have been used to seeing two roles; their mothers cook everyday and their fathers eat those dishes.

Recently some cooking schools for men have opened. I have read several articles about the schools. Students of the cooking schools are mostly middle-aged men who are afraid of their retirement, because they work from morning to night at their office, so they don't know how to cook.

On the other hand, of course, their wives cook well, they have many hobbies, and they know how to enjoy their leisure time. After these men retire, they tend to do nothing in their free hours. So these men are learning to cook not only as a hobby, but also because it is essential for them.

In Japan, the famous chefs are almost all male, while the famous cooking teachers are almost all female. I think that this tendency also comes from our old beliefs; being a chef is considered a business and being a cooking teacher is considered an extension of cooking as housework. I believe this tendency will change in the future. We'll have many chances to cook without considering whether we are husbands or wives.

More on cooking and eating trends:
In Korea, Both Men and Women are Cooking | People in Korea are Eating More Vegetables | Varying Menus: Modified Fast Food | Avocado Rolls: A New Japanese Food? 

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