Friday, March 22, 2013

"Home Economics" by Tsukamoto(or Emoto or Enomoto) Hideko Published in 1918

I received this book in the mail today. To make a long story short, this book was written by one of my female ancestor. I'm so excited. In the Meiji period, Tsukamoto (or Emoto or Enomoto) Hideko had taught home economics at Oita Girls High School in Kyushu, and in 1918, she published this book titled "Home Economics: Practical Application and Techniques."

In the book, she stresses to young women not just to follow our tradition blindly, but consider scientific studies and apply the result on their housework. I'm quite surprised to find the author's progressive idea. Wait, no. Actually, it makes sense why the way my mother was. She was also in some way progressive. The author lists some recipes of western dishes and shows how to make them. And the first one is the Worcestershier sauce. Wow. I didn't know the sauce until I went to the U.S. for the first time in 1970, and it took many years for me to pronounce it correctly.

The photo showing a Japanese woman washing laundry standing was quite progressive advice in 1910s.
Even in 1950s, women were washing laundry with their knees on the floor.


ZACL said...

HI Keiko,

My reply got eaten up as an error. Here's trying again.

I am curious to know how Americans pronounce Worcester as in the English county after which it is named, and as in the sauce.

When I was at school, girls were channelled into domestic science. We would have been better informed, I have always maintained, if we had been taught the subject as applied chemistry.

keiko amano said...


A Chinese man born in Thailand first introduced me to Worcester sauce. I think the sauce is popular in Thailand. I still cannot spell or pronounce Worcester because it gives me a bit headache when I look at it. But I realized we have something similar which we call it Wooster sauce. I guess that must be Japanese creative translation.

I like the words, domestic science, and you're right about applied chemistry. The book is about 125 pages and talks about how to treat each fabric, such as washing, bleaching, dye, dry cleaning, and so on. Those housewives used to do all kinds of things that need an expert for each category.

She introduced two dozen western dishes. To me, this has a historical significance. I think they are predecessors of some very popular Japanese dishes. I hope to take more time and read it again and write about it.

ZACL said...

Wooster, not too long an 'oo' sound - slightly shorter than 'too' is correct, for Worcester.

What a lovely family treasure to find, Keiko.

keiko amano said...

Thank you, ZACL.