What Did You Eat Yesterday?

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What Did You Eat Yesterday?
The cover of the first volume of the manga, featuring Shiro Kakei (left) and Kenji Yabuki (right).
(Kinō Nani Tabeta?)
GenreCooking,[1] slice of life[2]
Written byFumi Yoshinaga
Published byKodansha
English publisher
Original runFebruary 22, 2007 – present
Volumes21 (List of volumes)
Television drama
Directed by
  • Kazuhito Nakae
  • Katsumi Nojiri
  • Kenji Katagiri
Produced byMasashi Abe
Written byNaoko Adachi [ja]
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run April 5, 2019 – present
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Live-action film
Directed byKazuhito Nakae
Written byNaoko Adachi
ReleasedNovember 3, 2021 (2021-11-03)

What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Japanese: きのう何食べた?, Hepburn: Kinō Nani Tabeta?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga. The slice of life series focuses on the relationship between Shiro Kakei and Kenji Yabuki, a middle-aged gay couple living in Tokyo, Japan. The manga has been serialized in the manga magazine Morning since February 2007, and was adapted into a live-action television drama by Shochiku that aired on TV Tokyo in 2019; a film sequel to the television drama was released in November 2021. Both the manga and its live-action adaption have received widespread critical acclaim, winning a Kodansha Manga Award, a Galaxy Award, and multiple Television Drama Academy Awards.


What Did You Eat Yesterday? follows Shiro Kakei and Kenji Yabuki, a middle aged gay couple living in Tokyo, Japan. Shiro is a serious and reserved lawyer, while Kenji is cheerful and outgoing hairdresser. Each chapter in the series focuses on Shiro and Kenji as they encounter a particular comedic or dramatic scenario, often focused around issues of domestic life, workplace humor, and LGBT rights in Japan.

Many of the chapters depict a sequence in which Shiro, a gourmand, purchases food and prepares a meal for himself and Kenji. Shiro narrates the steps to create each dish through his internal monologue, and frequently prepares meals that have significance in relation to the plot or themes of the chapter. The collected tankobon editions of the series contain the recipe for the main dish prepared in each edition.

The events of the series progress in real time: Shiro and Kenji were respectively 43 and 41 years old when the series began, and as of chapter 101, are 52 and 50 years old.



What Did You Eat Yesterday?, written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga, has been serialized in Kodansha's seinen manga magazine Morning since February 22, 2007,[3] and has been collected into tankōbon volumes published by Kodansha.[4] In North America, an English language translation of the series has been licensed by Vertical since 2014.[2]

Television drama & film[edit]

A live-action television drama adaptation of What Did You Eat Yesterday? was announced in Morning magazine on January 23, 2019.[5] That same day, TV Tokyo announced that the series would star Hidetoshi Nishijima as Shiro and Seiyō Uchino as Kenji, with Naoko Adachi [ja] as screenwriter and Kazuhito Nakae, Katsumi Nojiri, and Kenji Katagiri as directors.[6][7] The series aired on TV Tokyo's Drama24 programming block from April 5, 2019 to June 28, 2019, with a 90-minute special aired on January 1, 2020.[8] Overground Acoustic Underground [ja] performed the series' opening theme song "Kaerimichi" ("The Way Back Home"), while Friends performed the closing theme "i o you".[9]

On March 27, 2020, Toho announced that it would produce a live-action feature film sequel to the television drama, with the original cast of the television drama reprising their roles and Nakae and Adachi returning as director and scriptwriter, respectively.[10][11] The film was released on November 3, 2021.[12] A second season of the television drama was announced in May 2023, and is slated for release in October 2023.[13]

Other media[edit]

A spin-off yaoi dōjinshi series, Kenji and Shiro-san (ケンジとシロさん, Kenji to Shiro-san), has been published by Fumi Yoshinaga since 2015. The series depicts scenes alluded to in the original manga, as well as sexual encounters between Kenji and Shiro. Issues of the series have been released by Yoshinaga at Comiket.[14]

A cookbook featuring recipes prepared in the television drama, Official Guidebook & Recipes: What Did You Eat Yesterday? ~Shiro's Simple Recipes~ (公式ガイド&レシピ きのう何食べた? ~シロさんの簡単レシピ~), was published by Kodansha in April 2019.[15]

An exhibition featuring sets and props from the television drama, as well as reproductions of pages from the original manga, toured Japan in 2019. The exhibition was displayed in Tokyo from June to July, Nagoya from August to September, and Osaka in September.[16]



Five million copies of the Japanese edition of What Did You Eat Yesterday? were in print as of January 2019[17] and 8.4 million copies as of October 2022.[18]

The series has received positive reviews from critics, particularly for its realistic depiction of gay life in Japan, and is noted as being one of the first pieces of mainstream Japanese media to substantially portray a cohabiting gay male couple.[19] Writing for Manga Bookshelf, Katherine Dacey praised the series for showcasing "the realities of gay life in Japan depicted in such a matter-of-fact way," while not being "preachy or dreary."[20] Writing for ComicsVerse, Melissa Padilla cited What Did You Eat Yesterday? as a series that subverts typical LGBTQ manga and anime tropes, noting that it includes a "realistic depiction of a gay couple who are adults rather than high school or college students" and that it "tackles gay issues while still maintaining a leisurely, slice-of-life pace."[21]

What Did You Eat Yesterday? was a nominee for the inaugural Manga Taishō Award in 2008,[22] and a jury recommendation at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2009.[23] In 2019, the series won the Kodansha Manga Award for Best General Manga.[24] It has been listed for Book of the Year three times by Media Factory's Da Vinci, placing sixth in 2014,[25] fiftieth in 2016,[26] and second in 2020.[27]

Television drama[edit]

What Did You Eat Yesterday? was the most-awarded series at the 101st Television Drama Academy Awards [ja] awarded by Kadokawa, winning Best TV Series; Best Actor in a Leading Role for Seiyō Uchino (with Hidetoshi Nishijima placing second); Best Screenplay for Naoko Adachi; and Best Director for Kazuhito Nakae, Katsumi Nojiri, and Kenshi Katagiri.[28] The 16th Confidence Award Drama Prize [ja] given by Oricon was awarded to What Did You Eat Yesterday? for Best TV Series and Best Actor in a Leading Role, the later of which was won by both Nishijima and Uchino.[29] The series was additionally awarded the July 2019 Galaxy Award, given by the Japan Council for Better Radio and Television.[30]


Portrayal of gay domestic life[edit]

Writing for Culture, Society and Masculinities, Katsuhiko Suganuma notes that the relationship between Shiro and Kenji is depicted as largely non-sexual, contrasting stereotypical media portrayals of gay men as hypersexual or sexually deviant.[19] Far from reinforcing equally permissive stereotypes of gay men as emasculated, Suganuma argues that by not depicting Shiro and Kenji's sex life, the series "intentionally ignores the expectations of the curiosity-ridden heteronormative public" to focus on the domestic lives of gay men.[19] Consequently, he cautions against interpreting What Did You Eat Yesterday? as being merely assimilationist or homonormative, arguing that it "provides readers with occasional instances of modification of gender and sexuality norms in contemporary Japanese society."[19]

Portrayal of masculinity[edit]

Xuan Bach Tran has noted that while cooking media featuring men in Japan typically foregrounds competition and pursuits of excellence, as in series such as Iron Chef and Oishinbo, What Did You Eat Yesterday? depicts cooking as merely a hobby and a necessity for life.[31] While Shiro embodies many of the traits of the "herbivore man"—he is unambitious in his career, and largely socially withdrawn—he falls out of this category through his love of cooking, and derives his masculinity from "self-care and expressions of selfhood".[31] Suganuma concurs in Culture, Society and Masculinities that as Shiro's utilitarian cooking style is neither archetypically masculine nor archetypically feminine, it "[distances] itself from a polarized gender binary."[19]


  1. ^ Alverson, Brigid (8 December 2016). "7 Mouthwatering Manga About Food". Barnes and Noble. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "What Did You Eat Yesterday?". Vertical. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  3. ^ モーニング NO.12 07年02月22日. e-1day (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  4. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (13 December 2009). "Live-Action 'What Did You Eat Yesterday?' Series Gets 90-Minute Special on January 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  5. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (January 23, 2019). "What Did You Eat Yesterday? Manga Gets Live-Action TV Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "「きのう何食べた?」西島秀俊&内野聖陽でドラマ化!よしながふみ「すっごく楽しみ!」". Comic Natalie (in Japanese). 24 January 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  7. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio; Ressler, Karen (23 January 2019). "What Did You Eat Yesterday? Live-Action Series Stars Hidetoshi Nishijima, Seiyō Uchino". Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  8. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (13 December 2019). "Live-Action 'What Did You Eat Yesterday?' Series Gets 90-Minute Special on January 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  9. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (4 April 2019). "What Did You Eat Yesterday? Live-Action Series Adds 2 Cast Members". Anime News Network. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  10. ^ "'What Did You Eat Yesterday?' Manga Gets Live-Action Film in 2021". Anime News Network. 2020-03-26.
  11. ^ "よしながふみ「きのう何食べた?」実写映画化!西島秀俊、内野聖陽らがスクリーンに". Comic Natalie (in Japanese). 27 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  12. ^ Hazra, Adriana (9 June 2021). "'What Did You Eat Yesterday?' Live-Action Film Reveals More Cast, Trailer, November 3 Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  13. ^ "きのう何食べた? Season 2". TV Tokyo (in Japanese). Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  14. ^ "「きのう何食べた?」ケンジ×シロさんのBLを、よしながふみが描く同人誌". Comic Natalie. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  15. ^ "「きのう何食べた? シロさんの簡単レシピ」既刊・関連作品一覧". Kodansha Book Club. Kodansha. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  16. ^ "『きのう何食べた?』展 名古屋に引き続き大阪での開催が決定!". What Did You Eat Yesterday? Official Series Website. TV Tokyo. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  17. ^ "きのう何食べた?:西島秀俊&内野聖陽のW主演で連ドラ化 男2人の食卓描くよしながふみの人気マンガ". Mantan Web (in Japanese). 24 January 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  18. ^ "『きのう何食べた?(20)特装版』(よしなが ふみ) 製品詳細 講談社コミックプラス". 講談社コミックプラス (in Japanese). Retrieved 2023-01-13.
  19. ^ a b c d e Suganuma, Katsuhiko (Fall 2015). "Queer Cooking and Dining: Expanding Queerness in Fumi Yoshinaga's What Did You Eat Yesterday?". Culture, Society and Masculinities. 7 (2): 87–101. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  20. ^ Dacey, Katherine (22 October 2014). "Bookmarked! 10/22/14". Manga Bookshelf. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  21. ^ Padilla, Melissa (6 December 2018). "How Anime Treats LGBTQ People". Comicsverse. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  22. ^ Loo, Egan (January 23, 2008). "12 Titles Nominated for 1st Ever Manga Taisho Awards (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  23. ^ Loo, Egan (December 3, 2009). "Summer Wars, Vinland Saga Win Media Arts Awards (Update 3)". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  24. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (May 10, 2019). "43rd Annual Kodansha Manga Awards' Winners Announced". Anime News Network. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  25. ^ Loo, Egan (December 8, 2014). "Attack on Titan Tops Da Vinci Magazine's Ranking for 2nd Year". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  26. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (December 8, 2016). "March comes in like a lion Tops Da Vinci Magazine's Rankings for 2nd Year". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  27. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (5 December 2020). "Demon Slayer Tops Da Vinci Manga Ranking". Anime News Network. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  28. ^ "The 101st Television Drama Academy Awards (in Japanese)". The Television Drama Academy. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  29. ^ "『きのう何食べた?』など受賞!第16回「コンフィデンスアワード・ドラマ賞」". Oricon News. Oricon. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  30. ^ "『きのう何食べた?』ギャラクシー賞 7月度月間賞受賞". Oricon News. Oricon. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  31. ^ a b Tran, Xuan Bach (2018). "Reading Food in Boys Love Manga. A Gastronomic Study of Food and Male Homosexuality in the Manga Work of Yoshinaga Fumi". AUT University, School of Hospitality and Tourism (Dissertation).

Further reading[edit]

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