In the novel Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, Yoshimoto demonstrates that family is important when coping with the difficulties of life. Yoshimoto shows this through the usage of the contrast of light and dark, and the motifs of the kitchen, and food. One motif that used is food, which is used to represent the presence of family, and how that aides coping. Yoshimoto uses the motif of the kitchen to represent the ability of the family to help another family member cope. Yoshimoto uses the contrast of light and dark to show that as the characters shift from feeling grief to joy, people who can be considered family are involved. Yoshimoto uses the motifs of food and the kitchen along with the contrast between dark and light to show that family is important when coping with the troubles of life.
Yoshimoto uses the motif of food to show that family can help cope with life’s troubles. One example of food representing family helping to cope, is when Mikage creates an “international hodge-podge” (Yoshimoto 62) for Yuichi after the death of Eriko. Before Mikage re-entering Yuichi’s life, Yuichi has been “drinking for a month” (Yoshimoto, 63) which can be associated with the “lots of ‘instant’ dinners: a clear indication of his recent eating habits” (Yoshimoto, 60). Yuichi’s terrible life style can be associated with the instant dinners that are cheap and poorly made. However, after Mikage re-enters his life and cooks an “international hodge-podge” (Yoshimoto, 62), that takes two hours