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7/30 - Doyo no Ushi no Hi(Midsummer Day of the Ox)

Have you ever heard of Doyo no Ushi no Hi (the Midsummer Day of the Ox in English), which lays on July 30th this year? If you ask what it is to Japanese people, you'll probably get the answer it's a day to eat eel. For this day, eel gets lined up on grocery store shelves with the catchphrase "Doyo no Ushi no Hi" in Japan. People love to eat eel so much in Japan that there are as many as 900 eel restaurants in Tokyo alone. There are Kanto (Tokyo area) style and Kansai (Osaka area) style to be cooked, and many different dishes are enjoyed. But why is it called Doyo no Ushi no Hi, the day of the ox? We'll talk about this special day, as well as how to cook eel, and introduce some kinds of eel dishes in this week's blog posts.


What Is Doyo no Ushi no Hi?

Doyo is a term that refers to the period of about eighteen days just before the first day of summer, autumn, winter, and spring in Japan. In the ancient calendar, days were counted according to the twelve signs of the Chinese Zodiac Signs: Ne = Mouse, Ushi = Ox, Tora = Tiger, U = Rabbit, Tatsu = Dragon, Mi = Snake, Uma = Horse, Hitsuji = Goat, Saru = Monkey, Tori = Rooster, Inu = Dog, I = Boar. In other words, Doyo no Ushi refers to the day of the Ox that falls during the Doyo period.

Since the Doyo period varies from year to year, the day of the Ox during the Doyo period also changes every year. In addition, although you must think of summer when talking about Doyo no Ushi no Hi, it comes several times a year. (As mentioned below, Doyo period comes around four times a year, and it has approximately eighteen days, while there are only twelve zodiac signs, which means there are two days of the Ox in 0ne season sometimes.) In any case, the day of the Ox in Doyo can be said to be the change of the season. By the way, the day of the Ox in Doyo has nothing to do with Saturday, which is Doyo-bi in Japanese.

*Ox days for the year 2023*

January 19th, January 31st, April 25th, July 30th, October 22nd, November 3rd


We offer frozen charcoal grilled eel at the store. It's already de-boned and seasoned, so you can easily prepare it for your table! It contains no MSG.

Eel sauce and Sansho Japanese pepper are also available. Eel sauce can be made at home with the ingredients you can get at Maido. We'll introduce the recipe in the upcoming newsletter.

S&B's sansho is a product that uses 100% sansho Japanese pepper harvested in Japan with a particular focus on fragrance. Sansho is characterized by tangy stimulating spiciness and refreshing citrus fragrance. Those features not found in other spices will captivate you. An indispensable spice for Japanese cuisine such as eel, grilled meat, fried chicken, fried meals, hot pot, miso soup and more! It enhances the deliciousness of those dishes.

The time when there were no farmed eel like today, natural eel had a fishy, muddy smell. Sansho was used to remove the smell. Nowadays, the standard eel is kabayaki, grilled with sauce. In the old days, it was grilled with soy sauce or miso paste, and sansho was also used there together.

Sansho is still used in the same way as it was in the past, even though it is usually cooked with eel sauce nowadays. Sansho goes well with eel, and this has not changed. It also has the effect of refreshing the fatty eel and allowing the eater to continue eating until the end, without making them feel it is too heavy to eat.

Benefits of Sansho

  • Sansho helps to improve gastrointestinal functions, regulates gastrointestinal activities, and protects the liver.

  • It is effective in stopping upset stomach and increasing appetite, and when eaten with fatty eel, it acts on stomach acid and aids digestion.

  • It also has antibacterial effects and is effective in eliminating roundworms to prevent food poisoning.

  • In addition to eating it, there is a method of treating frostbite and chapped skin by infusing the peel and applying it to the affected area to improve blood circulation through the stimulation of the pungent taste. Chopped leaves containing essential oil can be floated in a bath to increase heat retention, and the stimulating content is effective for nerve pain and other conditions.

In a nutshell, sansho is used to strengthen the immune system and helps in the treatment of diseases of the digestion system.


There is a lot of food items, housewares, stationery, and gifts available at the store and our online store, Maido! Kairashi Shop, where you can place your order for shipping or store pickup!

Happy shopping. :)


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