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Ugai (Gargle)

  • Today I will talk about the Japanese word “ugai.”


    “Ugai” means an act of rinse/gargle your mouth or throat with water to clean it up.

    This word comes from a famous ayu (sweetfish) fishing called “ukai” in Gifu prefecture, the literal meaning of which is “to tame a cormorant.”

    This is because in the ukai, fishermen have cormorants swallow ayu in the water, then have them spit it out on the boat.

    In Japan, people have done “ugai” since the Heian era, but it is said that doing “unagi” as preventing cold is an unique Japanese custom.

    Actually, it has been skeptical for a long time whether or not “ugai” has an effect to prevent cold.

    However, recently the effectiveness has been proved scientifically.

    Original sentence