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Summer in Japan is hot and damp, so it is suffering, isnft it? We call gNatsubate suruh in Japanese the health condition which lose appetite and being easy to get tired due to heat.

 Taking nutritious food is good for avoiding Natsubate, they say in Japan that gTaking eel on the day of Doyo No Ushi can avoid Natsubateh.

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 in summer.

 The 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 gUh at the top of the name can avoid Natsubate. gUdonh (Noodle),

gUnih (Sea urchin) or gUrih (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.

 He advised putting the paper at the entrance door saying gToday, The day of Ushi.h The shop got very successful and eating eel became popular. After that eating eel became a custom.

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The story is similar to the custom of giving chocolate on St. Valentinefs Day. (We give chocolate to somebody on St. Valentinefs Day, but it is the custom in Japan only.

It began from the time giving chocolate had become popular due to a chocolate companyfs 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 Natsubate.

 Ways of cooking eel are various, the popular way is traditional gKabayakih.

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 eelfs Kabayaki on the rice in Donburi (Rice bowl) is gUnadonh, the dish which putting eelfs Kabayaki on the rice in Jubako is gUnajuh. (Jubako is a square lacquerware.)

You can see eel at shops and restaurants near the day of Doyo No Ushi.

Why donft you eat eel at the day this year?

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