The breakfast is, then, very simple. Sometimes the family take their meals together at a large low table which is set before them at each repast; but often a small tray, about a foot square and standing six inches or more high, is placed before each member. In the left corner of the tray near the person before whom it is set, is a small china bowl of rice, while on the right is a wooden bowl of miso-soup, A tiny plate of pickled vegetables occupies the middle or the farther left corner, while any extra plate would fill the remaining corner. This plate also holds something very simple, such as plums preserved in red perilla leaves, boiled kidney bean, pickled scallions, minute fish or shrimps boiled down dry in soy sauce, a pat of baked miso, or shavings of dried bonito boiled in a mixture of soy and mirin.
The chopsticks are laid between the rim of the tray and the bowls of rice and soup. They vary in length, those for women being shorter than those for men but longer than children’s; their length may, however, be put at between eight and ten inches.