Eel (Igat) ‘s day: Your students will probably eat it on the 30th of July. Why?

japanese cooked eel dish

It is said as much as 30% of yearly-eaten eel are consumed during July in Japan.

Within only 3 days in July, 50% of the amount that is consumed in the same month is eaten, after being cooked in a Japanese traditional way: tasted with soy sauce, sugar, rice wine and so on.

But why?? Eel = Unagi = Igat’s high season is during winter!

目次 (Mokuji) Table of contents

Should you ever have any trouble translating JP ⇔ EN, our dictionary might help.

このページのみかた
How to read this page
あOriginal Japanese expression
EEnglish translation
吹き出しのアイコン15 (2)Pronunciation
クエスチョンマーク (2)Notes

Also, if ever you have trouble understanding Japanese expressions or words in this content, kindly visit our site: weblio dictionary.

Now lets begin!
それではさっそく見てみましょう!

Summary
Unagi
うなぎ・ウナギ・鰻
eel
unagi
There is a Japanese custom to eat eel (Unagi) on a certain day during July. This year, that day is going to be on the 30th of July which is this coming Saturday. Despite the steady increase of its price, especially during the last 5 years, a lot of Japanese people still buy cooked eel at markets. As a matter of fact, even before 5 years ago, eels have been a symbol of expensive food. So then why do they buy it?

There is a long, historical story …which is long enough that we’ll need another post for that.

Origin
Background
There are distinctive seasons in Japan. Between summer and fall — which is now — Japanese people has set a sort of transition term, and that is called “Doyou,” which can be seen in orange on the calendar below.

As you take a look at the calendar, you will also realize that there are animals applied to each day. There are 12 of them, which were used to used to express days of the week in the past in Japanese history. Those animals, by the way, are also used to express years. In this post’s writer’s case, he was born in 1989, whose animal is the snake.

Some two hundreds years ago, a popular inventor in Japan was asked by a fisher how eels, whose highest season is during early winter, can be sold in summer. He answered the question by saying, “Why don’t you sell it on a day that starts with the same letter that eels (Unagi) does?” That’s the idea. An animal on July 30th is a cow, in Japanese, “Ushi.”

doyou  no ushi

Explanation
Useful expression
なぜウナギをたべますか?
Why do you eat eel dish/es?
naze unagi wo tabemasu ka?

Useful expression 2
うなぎ食べましたか?
Did you eat eel dish/es?
Unagi tabe mashita ka?

Useful expression 3
きょうはなんのひ?
What’s today?
Kyou ha nan no hi?

Words 1
土用(どよう)
A transition term between seasons
doyou

Words 2
食べる
eat
taberu

Words 3
なぜ
why
naze

Words 4
おいしい
tasty
oishii

Words 5
すき・きらい
like・dislike
suki・kirai

Animals 1
うし
cow
ushi

Animals 2
へび
snake
hebi

Dialogue Examples
Conversation 1
講師:うなぎは食べましたか?
生徒:たべました。
Tutor: Did you eat eel dish/es?
Student: I ate it.
Tutor: Unagi ha tabe mashita ka?
Student:

Conversation 1
講師:おいしかったですか?
生徒:おいしかったです。
Tutor: Was it tasty?
Student: It was tasty.
Tutor: oishi katta desu ka?
Student: oishi katta desu.

Conversation 1
講師:うなぎは好きですか?
生徒:すきです・きらいです。
Tutor: Do you like eel dish/es?
Student: I like it.・I don’t like it.
Tutor: unagi ha suki desu ka?
Student: suki desu・kirai desu

さて、今回のコンテンツはどうでしたか?
Well, how did you like the contents this time?

There are Japanese students who are willing to study English just like you want to study Japanese.
もっと日本語に関わりたい!もっと日本について知りたい!と思ったら、weblioで英会話講師に挑戦しませんか?
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