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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on March 26, 2014
Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 17] March 26, 2014

Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 17]
March 26, 2014
Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization


1. Seasonal Taste:
Never matches unless it is the original pair: Common orient clam

2. News From JTCO:
Wakubata woolen banner event of Kumakabuto Hatsuka Festival
(Ishikawa Pref)

:: 1. Seasonal Taste

Never matches unless it is the original pair: Common orient clam

As many shells have been found in middens built in the Jomon period
about 12,000 BC to around 300 BC, common orient clams have been eaten
by Japanese people since ancient times. Although it is caught all
year round, the best season of natural domestic one is from February
to April.

Common orient clam contains good savory taste of shell fish which is
amino acid such as succinic acid, glutamic acid and glycine. The
aesthetic taste is enjoyed in a variety of dishes. It is low
cholesterol as well as low-fat. It contains not only minerals like
iron, zinc and calcium, but also B vitamin which strengthens the
mucous membrane. In addition, it contains vitamin such as B12 which
increases haemoglobin, and taurin which lowers blood pressure and

Common orient clams were indispensable for ancient Japanese people.
Shells were made into a game for people's entertainment called
Kai-awase, processed to white pigment and designed as family's crest.
The pair of shells only matches themselves and can't be swapped with
any other shells. It is believed to be a lucky charm bringing
harmony for a married couple so it is often cooked in the soup
served in weddings. It is also eaten to wish for finding a good
partner for girls on Hina-matsuri (Girls' Day, March 3rd).

The Tokyo Bay area used to be the big producing center of common
orient clams and we could see it from the pictures taken in the
Meiji period (from 1868 through 1912), and these show fish shops
selling lots of common orient clams. Common orient clams grow in a
shallow sea near the mouth of river where freshwater flows into.
Unfortunately, the native kind lost their tenement and died out or
plunged because of land reclamations. Natural domestic ones are only
caught in Ariake Sea, Suou Nada and Ise Wan, and the distribution
amount is only 10% out of all common orient clams.

Common orient clam is different in appearance and taste to clam.
Please try common orient clam when you have a chance to visit Japan.

Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Maiko Hayashi

:: 2. News From JTCO

New Article Released!

[Traditional Culture]

Wakubata woolen banner event of Kumakabuto Hatsuka Festival
(Ishikawa Pref)

This festival is the grand festival of Kumakabutoarakashihiko Shrine
(Kumakabuto Shrine) and is called 'Hatsuka Festival' because it is
held on September 20th every year.

The portable shrines from nineteen subordinate shrines in each
community within the town come into the main shrine, with the
chanting calls of 'iyasakasaa' and the lively sound of gong and
drum through the guidance of Sarutahiko (Shinto god). These are
accompanied by roughly twenty meter high, deep red colored wakubata
woolen banners and tools.

Read the full article

Translation: Yoko Hokari, reviewed by Catherine Newman

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