Japanese Food Culture “Ehomaki” There are rules on how to eat it!
Written by aki
Hello, this is AKI!
This time, I would like to introduce you to a slightly interesting Japanese food, “Ehomaki(恵方巻)“.
There are foods in Japan that are eaten on February 3rd!
In Japan, the day before the day when the seasons change is called Setsubun(節分).
There are four Setsubun in a year, and the Spring Setsubun is the day when we finally welcome spring after overcoming the harsh winter.
It has long been regarded as a day of celebration.
On such a spring day, Setsubun, Japanese people eat “Ehomaki”.
This is a sushi roll with a lot of ingredients.
What are the rules for eating Ehomaki?
It is believed that if you eat Ehomaki while thinking about your wish, your wish will come true.
But there are a few rules when it comes to eating them!
1) Eat facing the direction that is considered “good luck”.
Eho(恵方) means “the direction of blessedness and good fortune”.
To put it more simply, it is the direction where God is.
maki is “to roll” in English. In this case, it refers to sushi rolls.
The direction changes every year, and the direction for 2022 is “north-northwest”!
2) Eat in silence
You have to eat the Ehomaki without talking until you finish one.
In Japanese, speaking is called “hanasu”.
Letting go is also called “hanasu” in Japan.
The Kanji is different, but the pronunciation is the same.
The meaning is different, but the pronunciation is almost the same.
Therefore, it is considered a no-no to talk because it would mean “giving away the good fortune you get from eating the ehomaki.
3) Eat the whole bottle without cutting it.
It is tempting to cut them into pieces, but the best way to eat them is to eat them whole, as a way to “keep the relationship alive”.
4) Seven kinds of ingredients are good.
It is said that seven is the best number of ingredients to put inside. It is said that the number seven is good because of the seven gods of good fortune in Japan.
These days, there’s even an odd kind of Ehomaki!
Ehomaki is generally a sushi roll, but nowadays there are a variety of similarly shaped Ehomaki.
For example, roll cakes.
At first glance, it looks like sushi, but look closely! Inside is cream and fruit.
The outside is a colored sponge cake.
I’ve seen them sold in cake shops. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to bite into a whole one of these, lol.
Yes, you can find small sushi rolls in convenience stores in Japan.
If you’ve never tried ehomaki before, you can start with a simple sushi roll from a convenience store.
If you have such round and long food in your country, please try to eat it on February 3rd!!!
If you try it, please let us know on Facebook!