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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on February 23, 2015
Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 48] February 23, 2015

Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 48]
February 23, 2015
Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization


1.Seasonal Taste:
Originally from Yamaguchi prefecture:

2. News from JTCO:
New article released!
1) Potato-comparing Festival in Nakayama, Oumi
2) Nakizumo: Crying Baby Sumo
3) Tsukumai:Ryugasaki Acrobatic Performance
4) Takahama Yaki: Takahama Porcelain

:: 1. Seasonal Taste

Originally from Yamaguchi prefecture:

With a fresh smell, perfect acidity, sweetness and plenty of juice,
Iyokan is widely used for making sweets or cuisines. Out of many kinds
of citrus fruits, Iyokan is the second largest productivity after the
Unshu citrus, a tangerine-like fruit most commonly eaten in Japan in
winter produced in Ehime prefecture (western Japan). Although Iyokan
is commonly eaten in winter today, surprisingly it doesn't have a
long history and was just discovered in the Meiji period (19-20c).

Iyo was the old name of the Ehime prefecture being used before 1897.
Because of this name, its origin is often thought as Ehime, however it
is actually from Hagi city in the Yamaguchi prefecture. As this area
used to be called Anato country until the 7th century, iyokan was
called Anato mikan (citrus) before. They are now mainly grown in Ehime
prefecture which is occupying 80% of productivity, therefore, the name
gradually changed to Iyokan from Anato mikan.

The fruit flesh contains synephrine which works for bronchi or throat
colds, vitamin C and a lot of citric acid which helps recovery from
fatigue. The mesocarp (the bag wrapping the flesh) has pectin which
regulates the intestinal system and refining oils called hesperidin
and naringin which strengthen capillary vessels and restrain high
blood pressure. Hesperidin is also believed to work for allergies such
as atopic allergy.

Since its skin is thicker than usual citrus in Unshu, it seems hard to
eat. However, it can be peeled by hand. The best season is January and
February. Is there any food being named with a place name in your

Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Chan Yee Ting

:: 2. News from JTCO

New article released!:

1) Potato-comparing Festival in Nakayama, Oumi

Potato-comparing Festival in Nakayama of Oumi is a part of a ceremony
in which the east side and the west side of Nakayama village competing
the length of potatoes. The contest will be held at the end of an
ancient-style ceremony on Nogamiyama (Mt. Nogami), and by this contest,
they can predict a fortune about good or bad harvest; if the winner is
the west team, they will have good harvest and if the east team wins,
they will have bad harvest. It used to be held as a ritual of August
in the lunar calendar. However, the date was changed to 1st September
in the solar calendar since 1971.

Translation: Aki Tobayama, reviewed by Chan Yee Ting

2) Nakizumo: Crying Baby Sumo

"Crying Baby Sumo of Ikiko Shrine" in Momiyama-machi, Kanuma, is an in
teresting event held to pray for the healthy growth of children.
September 19th (if it is not Sunday, next Sunday) is designated as a
major ritual day every year and the sumo takes place on that day.

Translation: Marie Mine, reviewed by Maiko Hayashi

3) Tsukumai:Ryugasaki Acrobatic Performance

In Ryugasaki Tsukumai or acrobatic performance, a male performer
called Maiotoko climbs up a 14-meter pole with festival music of
bamboo flutes and drums. On top of the pole, there is a cutout cushion
made of 120 layered Sandawara (round straw lids for rice bales) and
covered with a white cloth. The performer releases arrows from a bow
toward all four points of compass on the cushion. After that, he does
a handstand and lies on his back. Then he slides down a rope
stretching from the top of the pole toward the ground with his arms
spread and performs giant swings. After a series of acrobatics, he
climbs up the rope to go back to the pole. All performance ends when
he slides down the pole to the ground.

Translation: Marie Mine, reviewed by Maiko Hayashi

4) Takahama Yaki: Takahama Porcelain

"Amakusa China-stone ," raw material for Takahama Yaki was discovered
in Amakusa Shimoshima in Kumamoto Prefecture in 17th century This
China-stone, highly praised by Hiraga Gennai, who was an eminent
inventor in Edo period (17-19c) as "best of the best soil in the
world", is famous for raw material of high quality for white porcelain.
It has been used to make high-grade porcelains such as Arita and Seto
wares until now. The China-stone is not just famous for its pure,
white and solid nature. It has been used by the Ueda family in
Takahama City to createan unique porcelain culture through "Takahama
Yaki" since many years ago.

Translation: Marina Izumi, reviewed by Naoko Yamashita

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Development Organization (JTCO)- All Rights Reserved.

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