We developed a simple food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) based on one-day dietary records (DRs) among 1001 subjects in Nagoya, Japan. A total of 97 foods and dishes were selected through a two-step procedure; first by ranking food items according to the contribution to the population intake of nutrient variables, and second by stepwise multiple regression analyses of individual food items as the independent variables and of total nutrient intake as the dependent variables. For simplicity, questions on portion sizes were not included except for a few selected food items, which resulted in short time (about 20 minutes) to complete the questionnaire. This FFQ was validated for food groups by referring to four 4-day DRs among 88 men and women in central Japan, from 1996 to 1997. The energy-, sex- and age-adjusted test-retest correlation coefficients between the two FFQs administered at an one year interval ranged from 0.34 to 0.78. The de-attenuated, energy-, sex- and age-adjusted correlation coefficients between the second FFQ and the DRs were larger than 0.40 for most food groups, indicating the usefulness of this simple FFQ with its sufficient validity in epidemiological surveys.