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‘Shadow meals’ employed to keep families safe from radiation via The Mainichi Daily News

The practice of kagezen — literally “shadow meal” — entails setting out meals at home for a family member who is absent, in hopes that they will be safe while traveling. Meals were commonly prepared by family members waiting at home for the safe return of husbands and sons on distant battlefields, or fathers who were away as migrant workers.
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‘Shadow meals’ employed to keep families safe from radiation

The practice of kagezen — literally “shadow meal” — entails setting out meals at home for a family member who is absent, in hopes that they will be safe while traveling. Meals were commonly prepared by family members waiting at home for the safe return of husbands and sons on distant battlefields, or fathers who were away as migrant workers. There may be some families today who practice kagezen for family members who are hospitalized or for children away on long school trips.

There’s been a recent revival of kagezen, which families had been carrying out less and less in modern times. “Shadow” meals at homes and schools are being set aside, not for someone who is absent from the dinner table, but for radiation testing. Apparently, setting aside actual meals for nutritional analysis is a method that had been used prior to the nuclear crisis.

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