Mysterious Japanese Culture of Eating Fatty Eels in Hot Summer


Why do Japanese eat eels in summer?

It is one of the most popular summer events!

In Japan, eels are often advertised in the summer.

Eels are a luxury fish. Japanese families do not eat eels on a daily basis, but in July, many eels are sold in supermarkets.Many people wait in line at restaurants to eat eel. It is a summer tradition in Japan.

Reasons why eels in summer are good for you

Eels contain a large amount of vitamin A and B vitamins, which are effective in relieving fatigue and increasing appetite. Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries also introduces that eels are rich in nutrients necessary to prevent summer fatigue.

The history of eating eels in summer is long, and it was even mentioned in the Manyoshu (Anthology of Myriad Leaves) compiled in the 7th and 8th centuries.

The custom of eating eels in summer became popular in the late 1700s, during the Edo period.

Eel Incident in the Edo Period

According to one theory, an eel shop consulted the Dutch scholar Hiraga Gennai, saying that sales would drop in summer.

Gennai suggested putting up a sign in front of the store saying “Today is the day of the Ox. The store became very prosperous. Other eel shops began to copy the idea, and it took root.

That day was the day of the “Doyou no Ushi” (the day of the Ox).

It is said that there was a custom that if you ate something with the character “U” on the day of the Ox(ushi), you would not be defeated in summer.

This “Today’s Ox Day” is said to be the first copywriting in Japan.

Doyou no Ushi? Cows on Saturdays?

“Doyou” is a term used to describe the period of about 18 days just before the first day of summer, autumn, winter, and spring.

The “Ox(ushi)” is one of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac, and is repeated every twelve days.

The day of the Ox during the Doyou period is “the Doyou no Ushi”.

Since the Doyou period is different every year, ”the Doyou no Ushi” also changes every year. Without looking at the calendar, even Japanese people hardly know when that day is.

 “The Doyou no Ushi” has nothing to do with Saturda

Nutrient-deficient in summer?

Today, we eat nutritious foods on a daily basis, so it is unlikely that summer fatigue is caused by a lack of energy, vitamins, or other nutrients. The act of eating eels to prevent summer fatigue lacks medical evidence.

On the contrary, it is said that when the heat reduces appetite and digestive capacity, a high-calorie meal such as eel is hard on the body.

However, if you feel like eating eel in the heat, your body is still in good health.

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