In my yesterday’s blog entry, I wrote the wrapped box carried by the pedestrian (Senkichi Omura) when Alien Waiell assaulted him was a box meal from Masudaya, but I have to tell you I was wrong.
When I reread the memoir authored by Hiroko Sakurai, the scenes in which the box meal from Masudaya appeared were those you can see in Ultraman Episode 13 while I wrote Ultraseven Episode 2.
At the outset of Ultraman Episode 13, a drunken man (Sakae Umezu who passed away last year at the age of 88) walking staggeringly (even dancing) with a box wrapped in red paper can be found while he saw Pester appear from the water.
According to Sakurai, the wrapped box was a box meal from Masudaya called Akachochin Bento or, abbreviated, Akachin Bento regularly wrapped in red paper.
As to the content of the Akachin Bento as well, the description as they were often mere rice balls was from another memoir written by Kenji Sahara who played Jun Manjome, protagonist in Ultra Q.
In Sakurai’s book, she says the Akachin Bento often had the same content with plain white rice (not rice balls) in large part and a few other unvaried simple foodstuffs.
Meanwhile, Tetsuo Yamamura says in a book interview they were provided with proper box meals instead of the Akachin Bento in the Tsuburaya products so it is a bit confusing.
Yamamura and Akihide Tsuzawa who played Hoshino in Ultraman say in their talk covered in a magazine that wheat tea was made in a huge kettle as it was boiled in the back of the Bisen Studio where the original Ultra Series were being shot and was taken to the shooting locations with ice in it in summer so that the cast and crew could enjoy iced wheat tea.
Actually the scenes of the drunken man staggering on the street with such a wrapped box are a typical way to depict in films and shows a Japanese office worker who worked overtime and is on his way home late in the evening after getting a drink after work.
The box could be a food gift such as sushi for his beloved family or it could be for calming down his irritated wife waiting for her husband who comes home late (her irritation is not always from her love for her husband, though).
It is said the box meals were cooked and delivered by Masudaya, a now-defunct eating place that used to be located near Tsuburaya Productions back then.
It is likely that, as Masudaya had a large red lantern in front of the store, the box meals were called Akachochin (red lantern) Bento among them.
It seems that the meal boxeds failed to gain much popularity among the cast and crew members as the contents were very much frugal due to the limited show budget as Hiroko Sakurai who played Akiko Fuji says in her book she was totally fed up with the Akachochin Bento which often ended up miserably with only salted rice balls with a few slices of pickles although they had to go through tough shootings all day long (amazingly, she says the rice ball bentos were served twice a day for lunch and dinner at times).