Daikan – the coldest day in Japan

What is DAIKAN?

Today, 21st January is so-called “Daikan ( “major cold” / “大寒 ) , one of the solar terms.

A solar term, originated in China, then spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan

is any of 24 points in traditional East Asian lunisolar calendars

that matches a particular astronomical event or signifies some natural phenomenon.

Daikan is said that it is the coldest day in the year, placed in the middle of

Shokan (minor cold / 小寒) and Risshun (start of spring / 立春).

Cold weather makes people strong

People invanted various kinds of events to torelate the cold

shch as midwinter training (寒稽古)

The term Kangeiko means training of martial artsor geigoto (accomplishment)

conducted in mid-winter season.

On such an occasion spiritual athletes may perform ablutions as a part of their mid-winter training.

sake sushi 日本酒

The procedure of the winter

On the other hand, in the early Edo period Japan had a technique

which was later named as sake brewing in all seasons,

and the sake were brewed five times throughout a year such as,

new brew of sake, Aishu (合酒 / sake brewed in the middle season),

Kanmae-zake (寒前酒 / also referred as kanmae-sake; sake brewed before winter),

Kanshu (寒酒 / sake brewed inwinter) to Haruzake (春酒 sake brewed in early spring).

The fish in season

The buri feeds itself in the seas of the North and then swim down to the South fighting with the rough waves and finally,

the “buri” season begins with the advent of the winter. The yellowtail fishing reaches its peak at the time of cold waves.

Especially, the winter yellowtail (kanburi)’s meat is firm and plump. It is served as sashimi, teriyaki, shio-yaki (grilled with salt)

and the pot stew made of fish and vegetables which are some of the most delicious recipes.

yellowtail sushi