The Relations Between Eating Katsudon & Winning
Katsudon is a Japanese traditional food, which basically is a bowl of rice seasoned with condiments and topped with deep-fried pork cutlet, vegetables, and eggs. The dish was named after the traditional deep-fried pork cutlet “tonkatsu” and rice bowl dish “donburi”. Combining the two words tonkatsu and donburi, this dish was named as “Katsudon”. Even though Katsudon is a simple dish, Katsudon is one of the most popular Japanese food in the world!
There are a lot of variations of Katsudon in Japan such as the sauce Katsudon, demi glace Katsudon, Salty Katsudon, Shoyu Katsudon, Miso Katsudon, Beef Katsudon, Chicken Katsudon, and Curry Katsudon. Each area usually serves Katsudon differently, so you might find that the taste of the Katsudon to be slightly different in each area.
Now, I will explain why Japanese people believe that eating Katsudon before exams will bring good luck for them. Katsudon is written カツ丼(Katsudon かつどん) in Japanese, and the Japanese word for winning is written 勝つ(Katsu かつ). The pronunciation of Katsudon’s katsu and the verb katsu is exactly the same. Japanese superstitious believes that eating Katsudon before an important exam or match will bring you good luck, so since a long time ago many people eat Katsudon the night before the exams or matches.
Japanese people believe that if you eat Katsudon the night before your important days, it will bring you good luck so you can win (katsu, 勝つ). Therefore, many Japanese students eat Katsudon the night before important exams or sports games, believing that they will pass the exams or win the games.
The culture of eating katsudon before your important days still exists in Japan, as many Japanese fast food restaurants always release limited edition Katsudon menu during the entrance examination seasons every year. For examples, the famous curry chain stores, Coco Ichi curry always sells limited edition Katsu curry rice menu during the entrance examination seasons, precisely from late January until late March.
In addition to the Katsudon culture, many young people these days eat Kit Kat before their big days. Just like Katsudon, the word Kit Kat is pronounce Kitto Katto (キットカット), which the meaning of these words can be considered as “will certainly win” and this is the main reasons why young people eat Kit Kat the night before the exams and matches. Just like Coco Ichi Curry, Kit Kat always release special edition Kit Kat series during the entrance examination seasons.
The relation between Katsudon and good luck is very interesting, especially knowing that the superstitious was made because of the similarities in phonetics and pronunciation of the word Katsu. Maybe I should try eating the Katsudon the night before my Business Japanese Test exam day, but for some reasons I kinda feel that I might not be able to take the exams as I will get a stomachache from Katsudon, which is a little bit heavy for my stomach! ^ ^