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Autumn in Japan & Spicy Devil Ramen

Publié le octobre 12 2021

Autumn season has started in Japan. On September 22nd, 23rd or 24th, the Autumnal Equinox is celebrated as a national holiday in Japan. In Japan, this holiday is known as 'Shūbun-no-hi'. The sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west on this day, making day and night equal in length. Autumnal Equinox Day was established as a national holiday in 1948. Before then, the autumnal equinox was an imperial ancestor worship festival called 'Shūki kōrei-sai' and the holiday had its roots in Shinto traditions as a time to give thanks to the deities for a successful harvest.

It’s also when the one of our favorite flowers is in bloom. This flower is known by many names. Because the flower starts to bloom at about the time of the autumnal equinox, the red spider lily is also known by the name "Higanbana (equinox flower)". In Japanese, "Manjushage" for red spider lily means "flower of the heavens", and according to one of the Buddhist scriptures, red flowers will fall from the heavens as a signal of an upcoming celebratory occasion. That is the apparent origin of the name. In English, they are known as the Red Spider Lily, Lycoris or Cluster Amaryllis. Rice farmers don't put them there solely for aesthetic reasons, though. As with any Amaryllis, their bulbs are poisonous. They are supposed to keep moles, mice and other hole-digging vermin, that might damage the crops, at bay. The flowers grow in graveyards for the same reason - to keep wild animals away, at least, that was their purpose in the olden times before cremation became the general rule. 

The red glow quickly fades as the petals shrivel up, leaving the plant bare. The leaves then emerge, bringing life back to the plant once more before they too turn brown and the plant returns to the soil, dying a second time. This curious growth habit was explained in a Chinese myth. The sun goddess Amaterasu assigned two elves (or fairies) to guard the flowers and leaves independently. Mañju guarded the petals while Saka guarded the leaves, always knowing about the existence of one another, but forbidden to meet. Curiosity drove them to defy Amaterasu and once they finally met they fell in love. Amaterasu punished them with a curse to never meet again and so now Saka’s leaves only come out once Mañju’s petals have died. They live in eternal separation. Another name for the flower is ‘Mañjusaka’ in Chinese and ‘Manju-syage’ in Japanese.

Originally, the plant came from China. But only it's female variety made it to Japan. Thus, missing the male part, the higanbana cannot reproduce via pollen like most other flowering plants do. They can grow only from bulbs and as bulbs don't fly with the wind, human intervention in one form or another brought them to where they grow now. It is also very hard to find the bulbs in stores. We have been looking for years in both the countryside and in cities. Only recently we found out the reason for this from a farmer who knew the story. Apparently, there is an old myth that if you pick this flower, the house in front will burn. This could be partly because this is a poisonous flower and myths are often created as a warning for people to treat them with caution.

The equinoxes are also a special time for Buddhists who traditionally see them as days when the border between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest, making the equinoxes important days to honour ancestors and remember the dead. Japanese use Autumnal Equinox Day to pay respects to deceased family members, visit family graves and hold family reunions in honour of those who have passed.

 

We love Autumn in Japan for many reasons. August is very hot in Japan and because of the humidity it can be extremely hot. When Autumn starts, we all feel very relieved that the air will cool down. We look forward to "Koyo" (紅葉) which refers to the red, orange, and yellow leaves that change colour every autumn, and the tradition of appreciating the colours of this fall foliage.

The countryside is stunning, and we take many trips just to enjoy these colours. It’s always a nice time to visit the hot springs during this time as you can see the autumn leaves at various outdoor baths. And the temples are always very pretty. Kyoto and Nara are especially beautiful to visit during this time.  

Spicy Devil Ramen:

Delicious and spicy! It is a spicy ramen from Hiroshima. The most popular summer product in Nakagawa is "Spicy Tsukemen Hiroshima Style". In addition, the standard ramen that has been very well received throughout the year is "Hiroshima Tantanmen."

Nakagawa Seimen has developed this "Hiroshima no Jin! Oni Shin Ramyun" as a product that incorporates the goodness of these two products.

The soup is based on the pork bone soy sauce flavor of Hiroshima ramen, and with the addition of chili oil and doubanjiang, the spicy, spicy, bright red soup that takes advantage of the characteristics of Hiroshima tsukemen is finished for hot use.

In addition, the noodles are made into medium-thin noodles that take advantage of the characteristics of Hiroshima ramen and are easy to cook so that you can enjoy the taste of a specialty store in just one pot.

Please enjoy the easy-to-cook demon spicy ramen that combines spiciness and deliciousness.

Portion for 2 people! Cooks in only 2 minutes. Put the noodles in boiling 500cc hot water and boil for about 2 minutes, and then add the soup directly into the pan. Add greens vegetables, Chinese cabbage, bean sprouts, leeks, eggs, tofu, or any toppings you feel like. It is quite spicy so if you aren’t crazy about spice, we recommend the Regular Hiroshima Ramen.

Please visit Bows & Arrows to see our selection of noodles from Nakagawa Seimen or visit our online store.