A questionnaire survey was conducted to identify the regional variety of Japanese New Year's dishes and how they are prepared.
Questionnaires were sent out to students of universities and colleges throughout Japan in December 2001 and 2608 questionnaires were collected in January 2002.
Japanese soba was eaten by 74.8% of Japanese on New Year's eve, while Okinawa soba was eaten by 58.8% in Okinawa. Osechi dishes were eaten by 79.6% during the New Year period, most being homemade although some were bought from shops. Kuromame was most commonly eaten, followed by boiled fish paste, cooked herring roe, cooked sweet-potato paste, cooked vegetables, cooked sardines, fried eggs, rolled kombu and vinegared dishes. The cooked vegetables and vinegared dishes were mostly homemade, while fried eggs and boiled fish paste were mostly purchased from shops. The popularity of Japanese New Year's dishes varied according to the region although it has decreased compared to that of 23 years ago.