Chapter

Japanese Mothers and ObentōS: The Lunch Box as Ideological State Apparatus

Anne Allison

in Permitted and Prohibited Desires

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780520219908
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923447 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520219908.003.0004
Japanese Mothers and ObentōS: The Lunch Box as Ideological State Apparatus

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter looks at practices that build desirability into habits of everyday performance. It analyzes the lunchboxes mothers make with great artistry and elaboration for their children to take with them to school and the contents of which children are required to eat in full as part of the disciplinary habits they must adopt at school. Mothers are thus expected to teach and encourage children with the aesthetics of food, and children, it is ideologically hoped, will consume rules and school order along with the scenarios of rabbits and bears designed in their lunches. Obentō are sold at train stations, catered for special meals, carried to work, and sold as fast food. The chapter argues that the obentō is invested with a gendered state ideology.

Keywords: nursery school; lunchboxes; Japanese mothers; food aesthetics; school order; gendered ideology

Chapter.  9128 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.