Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Some ways to live cool

Last time, I wrote that there are other ways to live cool in order to survive the hot and humid summer, but I'm happy to introduce some of them this time.

Most Japanese are likely to feel cool when they look at the flag above.  The Chinese character drawn in red in the middle means "ice" and the one in blue in the bottom represents "wave".  The tiny green objects drawn near the Chinese character represent  a lot of birds flying over the sea.   The wave and houndstooth designs are drawn as a symbol of coolness for Kimono, cotton kimono for summer, and pottery as well.
Morning groly and golden fish in the picture below are also popular design to represent the summer, and they are used for various things dating back to the olden times.

Now, I'll also introduce popular food in the summer. 
First one is shaved ice!  I introduced the flag of the ice earlier, and if you see this flag hung in front of a restaurant, that means you can eat a bowl of shaved ice as in the photo below. Right? You will probably understand it's becoming cool when you see the "ice" flag.
The shaved ice of this photo has combination of toppings; adzuki beans (we call this Anko) with sweetened condenced milk on top, powdered green tea sauce (Maccha sauce), and white bolls made of rice powder.  However, it used to be simpler in the past; there is no topping but only with the sauce of strawberry, melon, and lemon.
They really help you to feel cool, but please be careful not to eat a mouthful of it, or your head gets pounding!

Next one is Soumen, white Japanse noodles made of wheet flour. This is a common dish in the summer.  They are served cold and eaten with Tsuyu, kind of a light seasoning soy sauce. We dip the Soumen into the sauce.  I often make this dish for lunch.  They go down well even when there is no appetite.

The last one is eel (Unagi).  It has been eaten by Midsummer Day of the Ox (Doyo) for a long time...
It is said that Doyo is the name for the special period that separates each four season from the next; which came from the ancient Chinese five elements idea.  In the very hot dog days of summer, we eat nutritious eel, which has been thought as good for our health in the summer.
It is very tasty and makes me feel healthy for sure, but recently, it is no longer readily available.
This Monday was the Ox of the dog day and we were able to eat eel for the first time in a long time, and I've got the energy to update the blog.


  1. Sachi, it is so cool to read about your culture! You have so many traditions and I love the way many things carry a symbol and are truly meaningful! :)

  2. Thanks for the comment,Val!
    We can learn a lot from our own cultures and traditions. Right?:)
    I want to value them.