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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on April 14, 2014
Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 19] April 14, 2014

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Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 19]
April 14, 2014
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Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization
(JTCO)
http://www.jtco.or.jp/en/

CONTENTS:

1. Seasonal Taste:
Cure for measles? : Bamboo shoot

2. News From JTCO:
"WA-YOU-EN" selections appear in Paris!


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:: 1. Seasonal Taste
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Cure for measles? : Bamboo shoot

Spring bamboo shoot has a pleasant soft texture cooked in seasoned
rice and stewed dishes. Although ready-boiled bamboo shoot is on the
market all year round in Japan today, the best season is originally
from March to June. Therefore, this time of the year is the middle of
the best season.

Bamboo shoot was described in the Kojiki, the oldest extant chronicle
in Japan. It seems that it has been served in Japanese houses since
ancient times. There are 70 kinds of bamboo shoots but the Chinese
origin, Mousouchiku (孟宗竹) is mainly eaten today. It is fleshy and
soft with a sweet taste. It was brought into Japan in 1736 via the
Ryukyu islands and is now widely eaten throughout Japan.

Bamboo shoot has plenty of fiber which protects against colorectal
cancer and absorption of cholesterol. It also has potassium which
prevents high blood pressure and the diuretic effect encourages
excrement of waste products and cleans the blood. Furthermore, it
contains vitamin E, which is said to maintain youth. It also
contains minerals such as zinc and copper. It is excellent for
dieting because it is a low-calorie food.

In an old wives' remedy, if symptoms of fever and coughs caused by
measles continue, drinking the broth from boiled bamboo shoots once
or twice is believed to be able to help people recover from measles.

The name Mousouchiku originated in Chinese history. Mousou was the
minister of Wu in China and was asked by his sick mother to find
bamboo shoots. He searched around in the snow for the bamboo shoots
and was able to cure her sickness. It might have been that his mother
was suffering from measles.

Bamboo shoot can be enjoyed in a variety of foods and is good for
your health. It needs to be peeled and parboiled to prepare for
eating. It takes time and effort in order to prepare it for eating
but bamboo shoot is one of the most important foods to enjoy the
taste of spring.

Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Catherine Newman


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:: 2. News from JTCO
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"WA-YOU-EN" selections appear in Paris!

Our favorite "Himekawa-Zaiku" (Himeji White Leather Crafts), Hakone
Yosegi Zaiku (Hakone Marquetry), and Inden (Lacquered Deer Leather
Crafts) will appear at The Japan Cultural Institute in Paris, close
to Eiffel Tower from the end of April. Please swing by and have a
look when you visit Paris!

The Japan Cultural Institute in Paris
http://www.mcjp.fr/english/


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