[Special Features] Survive Summer in Japan

Summer Life in Japan

Summer in Japan can be captioned not only by festive events like fireworks or festivals but also following traditional customs in daily life in order to survive the Japanese summer heat which is distinguished in the high humidity.


"Doyo no Ushi"

There is an old saying that when you eat foods which starts with "u" such as Unagi(eel), Udon(noodle) on “Doyo no Ushi” Day, (midsummer-day-of-the-ox), you won’t suffer from the summer heat.  So, many people in Japan eat such foods mainly eel on the day.


 is a preparation of unagi eel, where the fish is split down the back (or belly), gutted and boned, butterflied, cut into square fillets, skewered, and dipped in a sweet soy sauce-based sauce before being cooked on a charcoal grill etc.. We frequently eat the grilled eel on the rice. 

ゼクシィ内祝い】日本の極み|江戸前うなぎ蒲焼4串入の内祝い |出産・結婚祝いのお返し、内祝い


Click the image to view charcoal grill item page.


We eat this noodle with hot soup, but we also eat it after cooling it with iced water with dipping soup which tastes stronger than hot one. Also, Tempura (Fried shrimp, vegetables etc.) is frequently accompanied with the noodle. 


As well as the majority of the world, in Japan we also eat water melon in summer. This fruit can prevent us from heat stress or even heat stroke by its coolness and mineral richness.
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It is said , wind-bells came Japan from China together with Buddhism as a religious instrument to avoid epidemics and to ward off evil in 500th. Later these turned to be used rather to bring coolness through sound in summer. The material for the bells are iron and glass and these are produced one of traditional crafts.

川越氷川神社 縁むすび風鈴」2000個の江戸風鈴が揺らめく幻想空間 - ファッションプレス


Click the image to view Furin Wind Chime item page.



Katori Senko

Mosquito coil (mosquito-repelling coil) is also one of Japanese summer features. The inventor of spiral insecticide is a Japanese business man in the late 1800. After a series of trials and errors, he achieved an incense burning effect with a spiral shape which lasts long about seven hours or for a night.

Click the image to view Mosquito Coil Holder item page.



Kiriko Japanese cut Glassware, one of our traditional crafts, is often used in the summer. This is because we find a feeling of coolness in its transparency. 

 Click the image to view "Edo kiriko" Glass item page.



Sensu & Uchiwa

Sensu: folding type fans which were originally allowed to used for only people in high rank and were tools to signify social standing.

Uchiwa: unfolding type fans used not only to make a wind but also used as accessories for Bon dance performance in summer festivals.