100 Japanese Things

In Which 100 Japanese Things Shall Be Revealed, So That You May Learn Much Japanese From Them

Thing #6: The Japanese Wives’ Guide to Lunchbox Revenge March 11, 2008

Filed under: advanced,intermediate,Uncategorized — Saleem @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Okay, so there is no ‘Japanese Wives’ Guide to Lunchbox Revenge’.

But there IS this amazing post on the Japanese version of Yahoo! Answers (Yahoo! 知恵袋) concerning ways in which one can get back at one’s husband by sabotaging his lunchbox.

The question comes in like this:


(しゅじん と おおげんか しました。 あした の おべんとう で しかえし してやろう と おもいます。)

Yesterday my husband and I got in a big fight. I’m thinking of getting revenge by doing something to his daily lunch box.


(どんな おべんとう だったら ギャフン という でしょうか?)

What kind of bento would leave him feeling defeated/speechless?

Now, in America, this would have likely lead to some crazy cruel suggestions.

For reference: A high school acquaintance of mine once put a dead squirrel in his neighbors’ mailbox as an act of revenge. I was thinking I’d see something along those lines.

Instead (note, what follows are very rough translations just to get you hype, but far better to go ahead and jump over there yourself):


(たまごやき、めだまやき 、ゆでたまご と ごはん

しおっけなし )

An omelette-y egg, a fried egg (sunny side up), a boiled egg.

Without salt!


(しろめし に )



On top of white rice… a sour-plum.

The above was a pretty common suggestion. There is something funny about opening one’s lunchbox to just a sour plum, though some took a more critical path…


(おべんとう って、じょせい の やさしさ とか つま の あいじょう の しょうちょう ですよ。 )


A bento is a sign of a women’s kindess, or of a wife’s love.

To make him feel disappointed (through a bento) seems tough.

Some lacked creativity…

前の晩と、全く同じ おかずを詰めてあげる・・・・

(まえ の ばん と、まったく おなじ おかず を つめてあげる)

Give him the exact same food as last night!


(わざと はし を いれわすれる)


Forget his chopsticks on purpose…

But would that be bullying?????

…and some had plenty…


(ごはん の うえ に のり で おおきく バカ と かき、 おかず なし。)

On top of the rice, write a big ‘Stupid’ in sea weed. Give him no other food (i.e. accompaniment to rice).


(ハム を ハート けい  に きりぬき、 のり で ちくしょう と かく)

Cut a piece of ham into the shape of a heart and use sea weed to write ‘Dang you!’ on top.

And taking the very high route…


(いつも より こころ を こめて おいしい もの を つくって あげる と、はんせい してくれない かしら?)

Make an even better than usual lunch for him, likely to make him reflect a bit, won’t it?

All of which seems a little soft and, dare I say, cute to most Western viewers. But beware, here comes some…

NOT SUBTLE FORESHADOWING: More examples of bento web-iness later coming over the next few days! Truly shall you know the supreme-ness of the average Japanese lunch, and properly shall you be able to compare it to mere white rice and sour plums!

BONUS CHALLENGE: In keeping with the theme of eatabug’s last post, there is one totally awesome suggestion over on today’s site that involves poop, or something like it.

If you can find it and drop it in the comments with your best translation, we’ll laugh and give you a shoutout and be your friend.

(shoutout to AJAT for turning me on to Yahoo!知恵袋)


2 Responses to “Thing #6: The Japanese Wives’ Guide to Lunchbox Revenge”

  1. Alec Says:

    Lol, that’s hilarious! So much for docile Japanese wives. (^_-)

  2. Saleem Says:

    I just love how revenge plays out in different cultures.

    Fun side note: My favorite word in possibly any language is revenge in Spanish: rebanche. I was in Mexico as a kid once, and this beautiful lady was talking English to me and my siblings.

    She said something like, ‘It was her, I do not know the word, rebanche.’ And she rolled the ‘r’ good and plenty.

    I was like, ‘I do not know the word either, but that is the coolest word I’ve ever heard. And you are pretty.’

    (Um, I mean, I was like that in my head. I was a little kid, so I just asked my mom what it meant.)

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