The first time I became a host family, I discovered the source of my heart’s minefield.

Hi, this is Hosma.  The following is a translation of the previous article “ホストファミリーしてみて初めてわかった心の地雷源” with a translation tool.  I think this is a point that many Japanese feel the same, so I would like people who come to Japan to know it.  Please read it.(どうも、Hosmaです。 以下は過去記事『ホストファミリーしてみて初めてわかった心の地雷源』を翻訳ツールで翻訳しました。これは多くの日本人が同じ様に感じるポイントだと思うので、日本に来ることがある人には知っておいてほしいです。それではどうぞお読みください。)


There are many articles about Tokyo host families, but some of you may be thinking, “It’s not just that good. That’s right. In fact, there are, of course, some stressful things about hosting international students. Hi, this is Hosma, who is slow to write.

Before starting a host family, I was like, “You’re not going to feel right at home in the living room! I can only stay in my bedroom now! I didn’t feel any stress in that regard after trying it out. I still spend my time in the living room as normal as ever. I love my home. But there was an ambush in an unexpected place. There was a source of stress that I didn’t expect. Today is such a story.

Japan’s culture of not leaving rice behind

Nowadays, many Japanese adults are educated by their parents to eat everything, such as “Don’t waste food” or “Don’t leave a grain of rice behind and eat it cleanly”.

When I was in elementary school, even if there was something at school lunch that I disliked, I was not allowed to stay in my seat until I had eaten it all. So, Nantaka, who hated cucumbers at the time, used to glare at cucumbers in the classroom even during recess. What about the Heisei generation? I’m sure people born in the Showa era can relate to it, “Oh, there it is”.

International students often leave their meals behind.

At my house, we keep a lunch plate in the fridge for basic breakfast and holiday lunches when we’re out and about, so if I make it and put it in, it’s usually gone when I get home.

However, sometimes it is left untouched even at night. I’ve told them to call me in advance if they don’t want it (I’m left…what’s up with that?) When you think, “I couldn’t eat because of my hangover,” or “I overslept and couldn’t eat! and so on.

If I’m not wearing my hands at all, I’m like, “Well, you can have it for breakfast tomorrow. But I couldn’t say that when I was just starting out with my host family. I left it in the fridge and it wasn’t damaged, but I felt bad about putting it out after a day.

Each time I made a new meal for the international students, and they ate the leftover food as my lunch or breakfast for the next day. But it was too much trouble, and they didn’t seem to care, so I settled for the advance method.

However, once you serve it as a meal and put your hand on it, you have no choice but to throw it away. We don’t serve them on a platter, we serve them individually. I adjust the amount of food I serve based on the amount I usually eat, but it’s not just a matter of the amount of food I leave behind.

It’s a common story that people don’t eat unfamiliar Japanese foods and vegetables, that meat with a bone is a treat after a few bites, and that fish has a lot of body left around the bone… Because there are many children who exclude fatty meat, we had to poke half of the kaku-ni (stewed meat).

I’ve noticed since taking in international students that I get very stressed out about being left with food and, by extension, having to throw it away. Until then, Hospa and the kids hadn’t even noticed because they hadn’t left anything behind.

「Don’t leave! 」It’s easy (but not at all psychologically easy). I’m sure they are stressed out too, being in a foreign country with a different diet, culture and everything else.

I asked him about his likes and dislikes and he said, “Everything’s okay! It’s not uncommon for a child to say, “I can’t do this. If it’s something you usually eat, it’s probably okay, but Japanese food is different from what you eat in your home country in a big or small way.

I’m sure you’ll find food that you’re not expecting. It’s called “devil’s tongue” in English, and even though it’s nothing to us, who are used to eating it, they will say, “What’s this? and so on. It seems that people in the Western world don’t have the enzymes to digest some seaweed, or they simply don’t feel well that day.

I think it’s a high hurdle to “eat without leaving anything behind at every meal”.

That’s what I’m thinking, though. (>. <)

The mind has a hard time catching up. It was very, very stressful to throw it away, and at one point I was really sick of preparing meals. So, when it comes to the food I didn’t eat, I ask myself, “Do you hate it? Can’t you eat? After confirming that I can’t eat it, I try not to serve it as much as possible. Hosma has become a little thicker than I thought, not for international students, but for my peace of mind.

When foreign students are not here, it’s a great meal!

Instead, when all the international students staying at our house say, “I don’t want to have dinner today,” we eat rice (food) that is usually hard to eat. A bowl of grated yam, natto and rice, bone-in meat soup, cold soup, simmered chicken wings and spare ribs! pickles, pickled plums, grilled monja, hiya-hoy!

When that happens, we don’t blame you for having things that you don’t or can’t eat. In Japan, however, many people consider leaving food behind to be a violation of good manners.

So, if you are invited to have a meal with a Japanese guest, it’s best not to leave anything behind. Mr. Hospa explained to me, “And if you have to leave it behind, if you tell them why you are leaving it behind and add a word of thanks, they won’t feel bad.

Since then, the students have often left their meals behind, but they have been able to calm down just a little bit more and take care of their leftovers.

We live with other people, so there is friction, big and small, but we try many things and if it doesn’t work, we have to come to terms with it… and that’s what we do. Hosma is now improving her humanity (I think).



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