DO-YO-U(土用）is 18 days of changing seasons based on Chinese ‘Ying Yang Five Elements Thought’. This period is believed that soil power gets higher. It comes 4 times a year. It is SUMMER DO-YO-U (夏の土用). Each 4 seasons has the same “THING”s to avoid traditionally but SUMMER one has 1 extra fun custom.
3 THINGS TO AVOID:
WORKING WITH SOIL:
ex) gardening & farming involve digging, rebuilding houses.
During this period is the time for SOIL/EARTH. Anything to do with soil is believed to disturb the god of Soil.
STARTING NEW THING:
ex) starting a new job/business, buying a house, engaging, marrying, buying a new home…
In the old days, medical treatments were not developed as they are today and just getting a cold could have gotten worse. When the seasons were changing, it was easy for them to get sick. So, to avoid ruining their opportunity, they probably decided to rest during this period…
1 THING TO DO:
EAT eels or food start with the “U” sound.
One specific day during SUMMER DO-YO-U. We have this custom. The basic idea is to get energy to get through the hot summer. Among the food start with “U” sound, eating “eels (UNAGI うなぎ)” is popular. The reason behind it has a strong connection to Kagawa, Japan, where we are. So, we will do a separate post on the day.
The day to have eels on the specific day of the summer is still a popular custom in Japan. But the 3 things to avoid during DO-YO-U are fading. Some of us do not know that DO-YO-U happens 4 times of the year. Still we would like to believe that the customs have certain degrees of truth and wisdoms of our ancestors.