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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on November 26, 2014
[Resend]Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 39] November 26, 2014

Dear JTCO Newsletter Subscribers,

We sincerely apologize that we sent out a wrong content earlier.
We hereby resend you a revised issue.

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Kind regards,
JTCO Newsletter Team

Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 39]
November 26, 2014
Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization


1.Seasonal Taste:
Jomon people's favourite? :Kaki (Oyster)

:: 1. Seasonal Taste

Seasonal Taste

Jomon people's favourite? : Kaki (Oyster)

Oyster is one of the shellfish that has been loved around the world
since ancient times. The most found seashells in shell mounds built
in Jomon period (BC1400-BC300) is not clam or Freshwater clam but
oyster. Oyster is often mentioned in ancient documents such as
"Kojiki"(the Japanese oldest record of ancient matters) and
"Engi-Shiki"(set of ancient Japanese government regulations) and we
could tell from that oyster was one of the most eaten seafood in
ancient times.

It is said the Japanese name for oyster "Kaki" was originally from the
word describing the movements such as "Kakiotoshite Toru (scrape off
and take)" and "Karawo Kakikudaite Toru (crack shell and take)".
Kaki's kanji is written as "牡蠣" but only the word "蠣" already means
oyster. The reason "牡 ("Osu", means male)" was added later on is that
ancient Chinese believed that all oysters were male. Actually, Oyster
is monoecious. They are usually male but in the breeding season, some
of the oysters turn into females to spawn.

Oyster is called "Milk in the sea", not only because they are tasty,
but also they contain a lot of nutrients including minerals such as
Iron, copper, zinc and manganese, glycogen, amino acid, calcium and
taurine. Most of the glucose in oysters is glycogen which can be
decomposed and changed to energy efficiently. It improves liver
function as well. Taurine protects the liver by impairing cholesterol
and preventing blood pressure elevating.

Most of the oysters we eat today are bred. Surprisingly, a lot of
oysters were found in the Jomon period's (BC1400-BC300) shell mounds
and those oysters were attached to chestnut tree piles which were
hammered in at even intervals. Jomon people might have been breeding
oysters on purpose or unknowingly. The real oyster-breeding started in
the Edo period (17c) and productivity increased rapidly with the lots
of improvement of breeding methods.

In Japan, oyster is a superior food to be enjoyed in a variety of ways
like frying, saute, cooking in a pot and so on. How do you cook it in
your country? Let's fully enjoy it in this winter.

Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Chan Yitin

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