Monday, July 30, 2007
Today,Monday 30th July marked Doyou No Ushi No Hi or National Eel Day.Based on the lunar calendar "doyou" is an 18 day period before the change in seasons.Thus there is a doyou prior to the start of winter,spring,summer and fall.
Since the Edo period eel has been seen as a cure for natsubate or summer lethargy. (see below for more regarding natsubate).
Eel which is rich in vitamins A and B1 is thought to restore and provide energy during the dog days of a Japanese summer.
Different areas have different ways of preparing and serving eel.Unagi or eel is usually served atop a bed of rice in a ceramic bowl and is known as unadon.When served in a squarish,lacquered box similiar to those used at New Years the dish is known as unaju.As well as unagi, three other kinds of eel are regularly eaten in different parts of Japan; anago,hamo and dojo.
In the Nagoya area however it appears that unagi is the most popular and there are apparently a number of unagi restaurants in the region.