Many Asian want to have a warm meal three times a day.
Typical Japanese every day dish is quite simple. Rice, Miso-Soup and some small side dishes. So, cook, usually mothers think about side dishes for every evening, different side dish every day. However an advantage nowadays is that you can buy precooked food at any grocery. In general, on the table of rich family there are several side dishes and at the family not so rich there are enough rice, soup and pickles but only one side dish.