J-CULTURE

A Kids’ Diner Making a Difference

Aired: Jun. 27, 2019

“The Kids’ Diner” is a Japanese film released in spring of 2019, depicting children who don’t have access to sufficient meals despite living in Japan’s seemingly opulent society. The screenplay was based on an actual facility located in Tokyo. Run by Hiroko Kondo, the facility provides children with hot meals at low cost. With fresh ideas and determination, Kondo works to rebuild a lost connection within society.

https://catchjapan.jp/cj_cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/20190627_03_01.jpg
Children at the Kids' Diner
https://catchjapan.jp/cj_cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/20190627_03_02.jpg
The Kids' Diner at Ota Ward, Tokyo
https://catchjapan.jp/cj_cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/20190627_03_03.jpg
Hiroko Kondo, The Kids' Diner owner
https://catchjapan.jp/cj_cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/20190627_03_04.jpg
Volunteers preparing the meals

Viewers’ Voice

I thought that this worthy community-based project was inspiring, and it was fascinating to hear the thoughts of both the person running the diner and one of its patrons. I hadn’t heard of the movie that was briefly shown in the feature, but am now interested in trying to watch it.

From Australia

I liked the idea behind the diner. It is compassionate, yet not diminishing the recipients of the service to charity seekers. It has a social function satisfying a very acute demand. It is good both for the kids and the parents.

From Turkey

Although Japan is considered a highly developed country by western standards, to learn that 1 in 7 children live in relative poverty was deeply upsetting. It was therefore reassuring to see citizens – such as Hiroko Kondo - doing all they can to care for the children by setting up “children diners” – a notion I believe Britain should adopt. The Hirakawa family’s story was touching and served as a reminder that balancing family life with work is difficult. But that some of the pressure this brings can be alleviated through various support institutions - such as the diner – is a reassuring thought.

From the UK