Monday, September 12, 2011

地引き網 fishing in Kamogawa.

It all started on a bright and early, HOT morning at Futama Beach in Kamogawa.
Here we were - about 50 people gathered to play tug-of-war with the ocean!
Here's kinda what jibiki-ami fishing is all about:

Beforehand, fishermen cast out a giant fishing net into the sea by boat. Then, you need a TON of people to pull the net to shore. You have two teams pulling in each side of the net simultaneously. You start on opposite ends of the beach, and gradually come together to narrow the net and trap the fish. It's tricky because you have to be can't pull the net in too fast either, or you'll scare the fish away.

 Even with this many people, the net was reaaaaally heavy. Add the intense summer heat and blinding glare of the ocean, it was a slightly painful experience - but I think this helped build a sense of camaraderie amongst everyone there. The girls at the front of this line in this photo started shouting よいしょー、よいしょー at the top of their lungs, which then in turn really seemed to help motivate and energize everyone else to keep pulling.

If you look reaaaaaally closely, you can see three black round floats bobbing around (around the center left of the photo). These help to tell how far the net is...I can't remember how much distance each one represents though :/

Finally!!! A part of the net has emerged.
Almost there...!!!

Our catch for the day.
See the stingray (I think it's a stingray)??? There were at least 3 of them in there.
Before the catch is transferred to buckets, etc. to be split up, the fishermen return seaweed/unwanted fish, etc. to the sea. This part is NOT for amateurs, because if you accidentally pick up something that stings...well, that probably won't end very nicely. I am pretty impressed with this dude with the blue towel wrapped around his head - see how he is just ready to flight that giant stingray back in the water? That's exactly what he proceeded to do.

Playing around with the's a fugu (pufferfish)!
Okay. They totally told us what kind of fish this was and I totally forgot its name already :/
My dear friend ripping an urume (according to google, a "round herring big-eyed sardine") apart by hand at that very spot for me to eat. Talk about fresh sashimi! It was really delicious...
The catch is sorted into buckets, and now everyone splits the spoils amongst themselves! We were surprisingly successful, so each person was able to take home about 30 fish.

Aaaaand so concludes jibiki-ami fishing! This was just the start though...I had a pretty eventful weekend, so hopefully I'll get to post about the rest of it soon. Have a good week, and particularly to my fellow residents of Japan - stay cool! The heat looks like it'll still be continuing for a bit longer.

1 comment:

  1. The picture with all the fish in the net reminds me of an anime I saw...I think it was Dragon Ball Z GT, or something, and there was a demon of some sort that was killing or dropping all the fish from the sky. Great pictures by the way!