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Tai - the good luck fish

Date Posted: 2002-01-04

Since the fish known in Japanese as 鍍ai・(red sea bream) is part of the word 杜edetai・(good luck) and is also red in color, it is regarded as the good luck fish of Japan. Red is an auspicious color here: You値l notice that some temples, shrines and torii are red.

Tai is often served at weddings and other ceremonies, and during festivities the preferred method of preparation is to boil it and serve it whole (okashira-tsuki). Supposedly, when you eat tai in its full and perfect form, you will be blessed with good fortune. Tai is considered the king of fish because of its beautiful shape and color and is available only in Japan. There is a saying, 摘ven a rotten tai is worthwhile.・This indicates that a great person retains some of his or her worth despite changes in status or situation and shows the high esteem the Japanese have for tai. Another saying, 鼎atch a tai with a shrimp,・ means getting a big profit for a small effort or price.

We at Japan Update would like our readers to send us information about superstitions concerning luck. For example, one superstition in Japan is that if you drink hot tea and one of the leaves is floating vertically instead of horizontally, you are considered lucky. Whoever submits the most interesting entry will receive Tony Roma痴 or Capricciosa dinner tickets. The deadline is Jan. 10, so send in your entry today. We want to know about your interesting lucky charm! E-mail your entry to chika@japanupdate.com.

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