Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Eel Eating Day In Summer

Doyo No Ushi No Hi (or the Day of the Ox) is dedicated to eating eel. The Day occurs around the hottest period of the year. With the day being hot, lethargy sets in; which in Japanese is called Natsubate or summer fatigue. To counter this listless state, Japanese believe that eating nutritious eel helps to increase stamina and beat the summer heat.

This custom dates back to the 18th century. It is said that an eel seller who was in trouble because eel was not selling in summer due to the hot weather went to scholar Hiraga Gennai for help. Gennai recommended him to post a bill that read "Today is Eel Day and Eat Eel." As it was a recommendation from Gennai, who was well known as a very knowledgeable person, the eel shop prospered. Other eel shops followed suit and the custom to eat eel on the day prevailed.

Talk about good promotional marketing eh? Err... so when is the hottest day of the year?


  1. it's HOT everyday! (sigh)

    I turned on the air-con last night because I just can't stand the heat anymore. and it's only mid July! The cicadas started to disrupt my beauty sleep 2 days ago... (grrrrr) and I can't afford to buy a watermelon for ¥2000!! Send me some ICE KACHANG!! >_<

  2. @Cindy,
    What! Dun wan to eat kakigori there instead of ABC? :D

    Wow! Expensive watermelon. @_@

  3. Haha dunno the hottest day. But I know I have been suffering. I dont have A/C or a fan at the moment @_@.
    Love unagi though. One of my favourite dishes. Wish good unagi was cheaper though :(

  4. Eww!
    No thanks, give me some Sushi instead please.

  5. @manglish,
    At least it's just hot and minus the haze. :(
    It's 33 degrees here couple with smokey hazy skyies. Ugh!

    Me and you both. At least I have a fan. I'd die without one.
    The Unagi kabayaki from China are cheaper than the ones labeled as flown from Japan here.

    What! No unagi for you?

    Anyway, have fun on your Australian trip! :)

  6. Hmmm...from Korea's side it's chicken ginseng soup instead. The exact same story, only replace it with said dish. How funny and ironical. XD

    Not forgetting the popularity of cold noodles during summer too ;)

  7. Wow I didn't know that eating eel beats the summer heat. It will work well here (all year round summer)?

    I dare not taste eel...as I can't stomach it. Thoughts of the slithering creature puts me off.

  8. @Jim,
    Last time no copyright issues mah... :D

    @Mei Teng,
    Maybe so. :D

  9. Is that true? Eating unagi helps to take away the summer heat?

    I love unagi!! Yummy! I ate lots of it at Sagano Restaurant at Rennaisance that day. Like 2 full plates of it! Haha!

  10. Interesting! I read this before but thanks for a more detailed info.

    goodnight Lina!!

  11. i can understand that eating eels can be nutritious and healthier but i don't think i can eat it for religious reasons.

  12. @foong,
    You went to Sagano? For the RM49++ buffet is it? So envy you!!!!

    Night Ayie! And morning to us all here! :)

  13. @Life Ramblings,
    Indeed? You have a lot of dietary restriction then?

  14. I've seen those whole unagi sold at Jusco but not sure how to cook it. Seems like it's cooked with soya sauce but still need to re heat?

  15. @pikey,
    I never thought of that (the reheating, I mean). Maybe can ask Jusco to reheat for you?


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