Fermented Brown Rice Nanakusagayu

Today, January 7th, is the day we have Nanakusagayu in Japan. Nanakusagayu is salt taste rice porridge made by what we call spring seven wild herbs. It is supposed to cleanse our stomach and intestines which have been filled with heavy meals during the new year’s holiday. If we have Nanakusagayu for breakfast on the 7th, we are said to have good health for the rest of the year.

I made my own version of Nanakusagayu, which is to make porridge using fermented brown rice. Regular Nanakusagayu is made by white rice, and therefore this is much healthier than the regular one and more appropriate for cleansing your stomach.

I am not going to tell you what spring seven wild herbs are because they are unique to Japan and not available in your countries. The idea is to find local seasonal herbs or vegetables. As long as they are local and seasonal, any herbs or vegetables are fine. You can put seven of them, but you don’t have to, five, three, or any number is okay.

The bottom line here is to eat something healthy and digestible, something that you feel will cleanse your stomach and intestines after the days of feasts. For European countries, maybe it is better to do it after Christmas in that sense.

You can even fast. Probably fasting is the best thing to do.


Anyway, I bought this calendar this year. It is a calendar of Washoku. We have traditions like Nanakusagayu throughout the year and they are all listed here. These traditions are seasonal events and therefore in accordance with the concept of Shindofuji.

This is one of the characteristics that Washoku was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

1. Diversity and freshness of ingredients, and respect for their inherent flavors
2. An exceptionally well-balanced and healthy diet
3. An expression of natural beauty and the changing seasons
4. Close links with annual events

The 4th one, close links with annual events, and our annual events are connected to the natural rhythm, hence they are holistic.

I said that Japan as a country was a Blue Zone in the following video, and I am more convinced about it now having seen this kind of dietary customs throughout the year.


I will share with you some of those annual events as they come along.

Anyway, you can have an event to cleanse your stomach and intestines, either today or within the next few days, to celebrate your health. It is good to have a day for your health at the beginning of the year.  Eating fermented whole grains with seasonal vegetables is one way, fasting is another way. You can make oatmeal, too, without using milk. Make porridge with water and add salt and vegetables.


I wish you great health in 2021.


The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity

POD Paperback