This dramatized studio photograph shows how Japanese meals were prepared in late 19th century Japan. The five women are surrounded by a variety of traditional Japanese kitchen tools.
The woman on the left is grinding sesame seeds or mashing miso in an earthenware suribachi (すり鉢, mortar). The woman standing next to her is holding a kettle for boiling water.
The woman in the middle is slicing daikon on a wooden manaita (まな板) cutting board. The woman next to her is apparently fanning a coal fire in a hibachi (火鉢), heating a pot of tea. The woman standing on the right is carrying a teoke (手桶), a wooden bucket with a handle.
Two women are wearing hokkaburi (頬っ被り) headwear. Japanese hairstyles were extremely elaborate and contained a lot of wax. Housewives and working women used the hokkaburi to protect their hair from dust and dirt while working. Usually tenugui (手拭い) were used.
Reference for Citations
Duits, Kjeld (). 1890s: Japanese Women Cooking, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on June 25, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/706/japanese-women-cooking
I have a small favor to ask
Old Photos of Japan aims to be your personal museum for Japan's visual heritage to increase our understanding of Japanese culture and society.
Finding, acquiring, scanning, restoring, researching and conserving these vintage images, and making the imagery and research freely available online, takes serious time, money and effort.
I do this without charging for access, selling user data, or running ads.
Your support helps to make this possible, and ensures that this important visual heritage of Japan will not be lost and forgotten.
If you can, please consider supporting Old Photos of Japan with a regular amount each month. Or become a volunteer.