During the last 25 years a remarkable change has occurred in the ranking of the causes of death in Japan. In particular, stroke, the leading cause of death in Japan for a long period of time, has been declining from its peak in 1965. Although ischemic heart disease increased about fourfold, it is not yet as prominent as stroke. One reason for these changes may be that the average life span of Japanese men in 1975 was 71.8 years, 12 years longer than in 1950. This trend of mortality rate for stroke compelled attention to changes in dietary habits. This article deals in detail with these Japanese trends.