Origin of eating UNAGI

There are several theories about the origin of eating eel, but the most well-known is that it was invented by Hiraga Gennai during the Edo period.

There was a eel shop vendor consulted Gennai on how to make his eels sellable during the summer, Gennai gave a hint for the folklore that "If you eat something with the letter "U" on the day of the Ox, it helps in overcoming the heat of summer." Gennai recommended the eel shop vendor to write "Today is Day of the Ox" and put it on the storefront.

The eel shop prospered greatly, thanks to Gennai, who was famous for his knowledge of things. Later, other eel shops began to imitate him, and the custom of eating eels on Doyou no Ushi (day of the ox) took root.