Posted by: yoko | September 30, 2003

Words from Childhood 5

Today’s word: Meshi-meshi!

Lest you think that my dad didn’t contribute any words to my childhood memory, here’s one for you.

Meshi in this context literally means “food.” Most nights, my mom would call up to us and say “Dinner’s ready!” or “Gohan ga dekita yo!” But one night, I remember my mom asking my dad to call us to the table. Admittedly, it sometimes took a couple calls to get us to come down to the dining room because we were engrossed with whatever we were playing. I think my dad had initially tried to solicit us in English, but then when there was no response, he called, using his goofy voice, “meshi-meshi!”

I remember being mildly puzzled upon hearing that, not knowing what that meant. There was laughter from downstairs, and my mom jokingly admonished my dad for using such a provincial phrase to call us down to dinner.

My parents came from small towns in Japan– my mom from a town on the island of Honshu, my dad from Kyushu. Sometimes they would argue over which one was more hick. I couldn’t tell you either way.



  1. i do enjoy the image of your parents arguing over who is more hick. especially when the only time i ever met your parents was at our graduation brunch (good god that seems like eons ago) and they were ever so dignified and gracious…


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