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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on January 10, 2014
Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition: January 2014, Issue 10

Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 10]
January 10, 2014
Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization


1. Seasonal Taste: Highly effective for the beauty and health:
"Yuzu (Citrus junos)"

:: 1. Seasonal Taste

Highly effective for the beauty and health:"Yuzu (Citrus junos)"

On the winter solstice, Japanese people have a traditional custom to
take a yuzu bath or a hot citrus bath. For the yuzu bath, people use
fully-ripened yellow yuzu that is harvested in winter instead of
unripened green ones between summer and autumn.

Yuzu originated in the area around the upper stream of the Yangtze
River in China, and some records suggest that it was reaped in the
Asuka and the Nara periods in the 7th century. Yuzu is a low-growing
evergreen plant and a citrus fruit with an uneven skin. Botanically
speaking, they belong to Rutaceae. Because yuzu is very sore as it
is, people don't eat them like oranges. It is common, however, to
process to seasonings such as vinegar from squeezed juice and process
to tea or pepper from dried and chopped cuticles. Yuzu has various
uses and it has always been indispensable for Japanese since ancient

The custom of taking Yuzu bath on the winter solstice was established
in the Edo period when bath-houses in the era started offering a yuzu
bath to their customers as a medicated bath therapy like a Sweet-flag-
bath. In Japan, where a commercial service of public bath started in
the 12th century, those medicated bathes had worked well to get
people's attention and to gather customers.

Nowadays, we often hear that yuzu's cosmetics are popular in the
western spa. Actually, the fragrance of yuzu has effects to make
people feel more calm and less worried. The components in the yuzu's
cuticle improve blood circulation, recover from exhaustion, and
maintain moistness of skin. Indeed, having a yuzu bath makes sense.

Moreover, functional nutrients in yuzu should be mentioned. Vitamin C
strengthens the immune system and keeps skin well, Vitamin P helps
absorption of Vitamin C, and Pectin regulates the function of the
intestines. On top of that, citric acid helps recovery from fatigue.
All in all, yuzu is an excellent fruit to keep one's body healthy both
internally and externally even in the cold season.

If Yuzu isn't readily available in your own country, please try yuzu
seasoned cuisines and enjoy taking a yuzu bath when you visit Japan.
We bet you'd like it!

Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Naotake Kakehi

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