How To Natsubate!

No, I'm not promoting onanism, it's the Dog Days of Summer and the best way to beat the meat (sorry heat, not meat) is to satisfy yourself by chowing down on some phallic Anguilliformes. Here in Japan, it is known as うなぎ (unagi) and is sold everywhere today. Since Japanese summers are hot and humid, many people suffer from 夏バテ (natsubate = summer fatigue). 土用の丑の日 (Doyo no Ushi no Hi) is a day in late July dedicated to eating eel. The day falls on July 26th this year. The custom began in the 18th century. It is believed that eating nutritious eel helps to increase stamina.
When making an eel your meal, you will find eels sold at every supermarket. Long advertisement flags are often around to promote sales. Here are some photos of eels on display outside of the Daiei today.

Now, I didn't have this for lunch, by the time I realized what I was missing, I had already eaten at a new Pizza/Burger joint outside the Disney Store called Pizza Bros. (022-222-4566) For 550¥, I had a big burger, fries & a drink. It's impossible to miss, there's a giant Weiner outside!

During lunch, I caught up on some Ghost Stories, since summer is the time for spooks in this country. My favourite was about a purple kimono called murisaki furisode which apparantly drove its wearers crazy and  ultimately caused the Great Fire of the Long-Sleeved Robe in Tokyo in 1655! You can read the story itself online in Ghostly Japan  by Lafcadio Hearn. I find making yourself quiver with fear is a way to cool down...that's why it's called shivering people. The next tome I need to track down is the Yokai Guide. Lots of good goblins there!

If you hear the following chant while you are purchasing a Purple Kimono, I'd suggest shopping elsewhere!

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