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◆The History of Edible Eels◆

Eels have a very long history of being used as food, and examples of eels being excavated from archaeological sites in the Jomon period have been reported.
The rich nutrition of eels has been known since the Nara period.
It was after the Edo Genroku era (1603-1868) that eels were first available to the public.
During this period, the basis of many dishes such as eel, loach, sushi, and tempura were established, and among them, eel seems to have been the most popular dish.

During the Edo period when food culture blossomed, many eel dishes were created and eel cookbooks were published. In those documents, there are various ways to prepare eels in various ways such as soup, rice, stewed, daredevil, and grilled. It is written in the book, which shows the common people's high interest in eels.
However, around the end of the Edo period, the food culture of eels changed drastically when mirin was used as a sauce for kabayaki (grilled eels).
Adding the sweetness of mirin to the sauce improved the taste, aroma, and shine of the kabayaki dramatically, bringing it one step closer to the current flavor.
While establishing its original flavor, kabayaki became synonymous with eel cuisine.
◆There are four Ox days?!◆

What is Doyo? Most people think of the Ox of Doyo as a day to eat eels, and that it is only in the summer. However, essentially, there are Doyo in every season.
There is an old Chinese philosophy called the Yin and Yang theory of the elements, which states that the universe is made up of the five elements (five elements) of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
If we apply these five elements to the four seasons, we can say that

Then, "earth" is left over.
So, people decided to use one-fifth of the end of each of the 90days in the four seasons as soil (Doyo).
So there are actually four Doyo periods in a year.

What is the day of the Ox?
The name of the day is "Ox" in the 12 animal signs of the Chinese zodiac.
The day is called "Doyo-no-Ushi Day" and it is the last day of the summer Doyo to eat Unagi (eel) at the festival of Sushi restaurants.

Eel on the last Ox Day
The Doyo of the summer is a time when the heat is severe and people tend to suffer from summer fatigue, so there has been a custom of eating "nutritive food" since ancient times, and words such as Doyo Mochi (rice cake) and Doyo Eggs are still used today. Eels were also famous as nutritive food since the Nara period, and it is likely that eels were associated with summer food.
The custom of eating eels at the last Ox Day of Doyo became popularized by Hiraga Gennai, who was famous as a versatile scholar at the end of the Edo period. The idea came to him when a neighboring eel shop asked him for advice on how to deal with the lack of sales of eels in the summer. He posted a signboard saying "Today is the day of the Ox," and it was a great success. This is said to be the reason why people began to eat eels on the day of the Ox.

◆Kabayaki and Sanshou (Japanese pepper)◆

Herbs are becoming more and more popular today. Sansho is a Japanese herb.
Yakumi (spice) plays an important role in enhancing a dish.
The combination of the aroma of kabayaki sauce and the refreshing aroma of powdered sansho is indispensable to enhance the flavors of the dish.
This sansho has already been used since the Edo period.
In addition to its taste, sansho is said to detoxify the body and aid in digestion.

◆Nutrients in Eel◆

For many people, it might be Surprising?! Eel is a vitamin-rich and truly nutrient-dense food.
Not only is it rich in protein, but it is also full of vitamins that fish meat tend to lack, and eating eel bowl, oshinko (Japanese pickles), soup, and fruit after that is a very well-balanced meal.