Since When Eel Fish Became A Part of Japanese Tradition?

There is a day where everyone in Japan eats “Unagi”, the eel fish. This year, July 20th is the lucky day!

So let’s all have Unagi this weekend and gain energy to get through this humid summer!

You might ask, since when the people in Japan started to eat Unagi? Considering the

fact that there is a song about Unagi in ”Manyo-shu”, the oldest poem collection

existing in Japan, it is safe to say that the fish has been popular among the people

for quite a long time in history.

There are several studies examining when the eel fish became popular in Japan, but

most likely it is in late Edo period.

It is believed that the cooking method was invented in mid Edo period. Until then,

the people would just chop into pieces, or just simply grill. In Japan, any food that

starts with the letter “U”, such as Umeboshi (Plum), Ushi (Beef), Uma-niku (Horse

meet) is believed to be good for health. Eating healthy foods might be the strategy

to survive the hot summer ahead of us!