Summer in Japan is hot and damp, so it is suffering, isn’t it? We
call “Natsubate suru” in Japanese the health condition which lose
appetite and being easy to get tired due to heat.
nutritious food is good for avoiding Natsubate, they say in Japan
that “Taking eel on the day of Doyo No Ushi can avoid Natsubate”.
The day of Doyo No Ushi is the specific day of oriental zodiac
calendar, there are four in a year. But the one they say is the day
date is movable, generally the end of July. (This year, July 30.) It
is very hot and easy to get Natsubate at the time, but why eel?
Since ancient times, they say that taking the food which has “U” at
the top of the name can avoid Natsubate. “Udon” (Noodle),
“Uni” (Sea urchin) or “Uri” (Gourd) is OK. There is the reason eel
is particularly saying.
There was Hiraga Gennai in Edo era who had
versatility of talent and famous. Once, unsuccessful grilled eel
shop owner talked to him.
advised putting the paper at the entrance door saying “Today, The
day of Ushi.” The shop got very successful and eating eel became
popular. After that eating eel became a custom.
The story is similar to the custom of giving chocolate on St.
Valentine’s Day. (We give chocolate to somebody on St. Valentine’s
Day, but it is the custom in Japan only.
It began from the time giving chocolate had become popular due to a
chocolate company’s advertisement.)
Then, is it meaningless eating eel on the day of Doyo No Ushi? No,
it is meaningful. Eel is very nutritious and good for avoiding
of cooking eel are various, the popular way is traditional “Kabayaki”.
Kabayaki is cutting an eel lengthwise,
removing the viscera, skewering it in the flat by bamboo skewer,
putting sweet shoyu sauce on it and grilling.
The dish which putting eel’s Kabayaki on the rice in Donburi (Rice
bowl) is “Unadon”, the dish which putting eel’s Kabayaki on the rice
in Jubako is “Unaju”. (Jubako is a square
You can see eel at shops and restaurants near the day of Doyo No
Why don’t you eat eel at the day this year?