After a ban that lasted a millennium and a half, the meal consumption started to grow in Japan at the beginning of the Meiji period, together with the introduction of the Western menus. In 1872, the Emperor Meiji himself encouraged population to eat meat by celebrated the New Year with meat dishes.
One of the first meat based menus in Japan was the beef bowl gyūdon, and the first one to serve it was Eikichi Matsuda, the founder of the Yoshinoya restaurants.
In time gyūdon became largely popular and now, besides Yoshinoya, the largest restaurant chain is Sukiya, a company established in 1982 in Yokohama, which has 1985 restaurants in Japan and several other countries.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: