Children in Japan have been allowed to communicate with their peers during lunch as COVID cases have declined. For the last two years, lunchtime has been enforced in near-monastic silence in order to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. The children were instructed to practice mokushoku, or quiet eating, as part of the course.
There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of incidents of COVID, which has prompted schools to abolish the rule of silence.
The Fukuoka Board of Education in Japan has said that it is easing limits on lunchtime discussions.
Several other prefectures have already begun to follow suit, as has the federal government. It was just a few weeks ago that Miyazaki announced the end of his strict lunchtime schedule. Lunchtime has been made silent at schools near Tokyo that enable students to sit face-to-face without conversing.
From the parents’ perspective, there has been a response to the new measures and eased limitations. “My child is used to eating silently, and I’m sure she doesn’t feel lonely as she is with her family when she gets home,” one mother said. “I’m concerned about the possibility of infection, so I hope they will continue to eat without talking.”
A few teachers have expressed their approval of the new policy. Silent eating has been going on for some time now, according to Kenji Tanaka, a school administrator. “I hope happy school lunchtimes will return soon.”