Let's Start Learning Japanese Cuisine on "Hatsu-uma" Day!
Updated: Apr 26, 2022
What is the Connection Between a Very Famous Tourist Spot and Inari Sushi? Here's some good news for those of you who want to learn about Japanese cuisine and culture in Japan! There is a "perfect day to start learning" in early February in Japan. In the Edo period (1603-1868), the Japanese believed that you would improve if you started your studies or lessons on this day. The following is an introduction to the reasons why the "Hatsu-Uma, first horse" day is considered to be the best day to start learning, as well as the " Inari Sushi, "an event food for the " Hatsu-Uma " day. Why don't you use Hatsu-Uma as an opportunity to take the first step towards your dream of learning Japanese cuisine in Japan? Table of Contents 1. What is "Hatsu-uma"? When is 2022? 2. The origin is a tourist attraction! Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto 3. The deep connection between foxes and Inari Sushi 4. Local foods eaten on Hatsu-uma 5. Summary
1. What is "Hatsu-uma"? When is 2022?
↑ Chinese stamps featuring the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac. In the center is "Horse（馬＝午）" in black on a red background. "Hatsu-uma" means "the first horse day of February." The word "Hatsu-uma" came to represent the festivals and customs held at Inari shrines all over Japan on the first horse day. The "Uma=horse" in Hatsu-uma refers to the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac. The twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac (zodiac signs) refer to animals, using the numbers 1 to 12 instead of numbers. 1=子(mouse), 2=丑 (ox), 3=寅 (tiger), 4=卯(rabbit), 5=辰 (dragon), 6=巳 (snake), 7=午 (horse), 8= 未 (sheep), 9=申 (monkey), 10=酉 (rooster), 11=戌 (dog),12=亥(boar). The date is represented by repeating the cycle of these 12 types. The date of the first horse day changes from year to year: February 10 in 2022, February 5 in 2023, February 12 in 2024, and February 6 in 2025.
2. The origin is a tourist attraction! Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
↑ Senbon Torii, a tunnel of brilliant vermilion. Now, let's unfold the origin of Hatsu-uma. You may have been familiar with the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, which is one of the most popular places to visit in Japan among tourists from overseas. The torii gates that line the approach to the shrine, creating a tunnel of vermilion, are vivid and have an eye-catching impact. In fact, the origin of Hatsu-uma is in this Fushimi Inari Shrine. Fushimi Inari Shrine is the principal shrine of the Inari Shinto Shrines, which are about 3,000 throughout Japan. The origin of the Fushimi Inari Shrine dates back 1,300 years to the Nara Period (710-794) when the god of grain descended on Mount Inari on the first horse day of the first month of the year. The word "Inari" in Inari Shrine has the meaning of "inanari," or rice growing, and is affectionately called " Oinari-san" by the Japanese. On Hatsu-uma day, Inari shrines all over the country also hold "Hatsu-uma Festival" to pray for the harvest before starting the spring farming season.
Therefore, the Hatsu-uma Festival attracts many people who pray for a good harvest and various other benefits. During the Edo period (1603-1868), as the trend to encourage learning increased, the Inari deity's role as a guardian of learning and performing arts was emphasized, and people believed that attending a terakoya (a school for children) from the first horse day would improve one's reading and writing skills. For this reason, Hatsu-uma was established as the best day to start learning and practicing. Therefore, Hatsu-uma became the best day to start learning and practicing.
3. The deep connection between foxes and Inari Sushi