Once again we are in the happy fun time of Lent. I don’t think of any other religion that has such a long period of fasting and such. Correct me if I’m wrong but yes Islam has Ramadan however its only thirty days and while they fast during the day every night they can eat. So it does seem similar but Lent is longer and seems harder especially when one gives up something they really like, such as when I gave up donuts last Lent. In Japan with Shinto and Buddhism I am unaware of any length of time where followers have to adhere to anything as strict as Lent. There are times when followers, for various reasons, do harsh things like stand under a freezing cold waterfall in the middle of winter but that is over with in a few moments not a month and a half.
Naturally most Japanese are entirely unaware of Lent and unaware a food they love has Lenten connections. That food is tempura.
To quote wikipedia “An alternate explanation for the word is that it is derived from ‘Tempora’, a Latin word used by either Spanish and/or Portuguese missionaries to refer to the Lenten period where they could not eat meat.