Jun 6, 2013

"Gibu Mi Chokoreito": Ration D Bars and Japanese Children

There was a cliche, "Gibu mi chokoreito", which was used during the U.S. occupation of Japan just after the Pacific War. Of course, "Gibu mi chokoreito" means, "Give me chocolate."

I just started to read the book "the emperors of Chocolate," which is about the U.S. chocolate industry, focusing especially on the competition between Hershey and Mars.

The first chapter of this book, "Bar Wars," is written about the relationship between the U.S. Army and chocolate companies. The author wrote:

In 1942, when the United States entered the war against Germany and Japan, the military ordered Hershey to commence full-scale production of the new ration bar, and for the next four years the Hershey plant operated around the clock, seven days a week, churning out half a million Ration D bars per shift.

I didn't know about "Ration D Bars" before reading this.

I heard that the  U. S. Army soldiers gave chocolate to Japanese children during American occupation of Japan. At that time, even dairy foods were running short, so obviously sweets were quite valuable goods. Japanese children followed American Army's jeeps and shouted, "Gibu mi chokoreito!"

I'd like to know what kind of chocolate was given by the U.S. soldiers, so I googled it and found an image of the Ration D Bars. It was much rougher and bigger than I imagined. I think that the Japanese children who got Ration D Bars were probably very surprised by the size of the chocolate.

I began to want to eat a simple “Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar.”

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