The purpose of this study is to find out how Osechi Ryori (the New Year Dishes) is succeeded or not succeeded from generation to generation in order to seek factors relating to the continuation of food culture while clarifying the intergenerational relationships enabling its continuation. By means of questionnaire and interview, a survey was conducted on female members of three generations in 50 families living in both urban and rural areas.
Regional and family differences were revealed as to how Osechi Ryori had been handed down from previous generations as well as the importance given to the traditional dishes. In both regions the food culture on the maternal side was easily succeeded by the female member such as from grandmother to granddaughter, while that on the paternal side had often been discontinued.
Sharing of cooking and eating is the most important factor to the conservation of food culture both on the paternal and maternal side. Sharing of cooking and eating by two or three generations reinforced the family ties; in such families, generational relationships were relatively equal and cooking gave no stress on the second generation (mother). As for the factors of discontinuation, intergenerational conflicts and cooking stress were cited; the second generation often felt they were forced to prepare food for the family as daughters-in-law. Observing their mother's situation, the third generation (granddaughters) in such families showed no keen attachment to the food culture of their families.