Are Japan's fish lovers eating tuna to extinction?

Jan 9, 2011

Are Japan's fish lovers eating tuna to extinction?

Pick up a newspaper in Japan these days and you’ll almost always find a story in it about the state of bluefin tuna somewhere in the world. Just a few recent headlines have included: “Fishing industry being eaten alive”; “Tuna shortage has Japan fearing ...

Nov 14, 2010

The Hour of the Ox

At 13 years of age, Angelica Akahoshi was the youngest person ever awarded the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for Literature. To the manga-loving Japanese public, the fact that her award-winning book was a graphic novel only added to the intense curiosity suddenly directed at this ...

Ugly seafood just doesn't get better

May 23, 2010

Ugly seafood just doesn't get better

A mong the highlights of any visit to Ibaraki Prefecture could well be Kita-Ibaraki in its far northeast — specifically the towns of Otsu-ko and Hirakata-ko, which offer perhaps the best opportunity in the nation to sample the great winter seafood delicacy of anko ...

Ibaraki's hidden lure

May 23, 2010

Ibaraki's hidden lure

Whether tourist or resident, anyone looking for a short trip out of Tokyo, but still within the surrounding Kanto region, has plenty of varied options. There’s the mountain resort of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, the medicinal hot-spring town of Kusatsu in Gunma, the scenic ...

Mito's marvels span time, TV and beauty

May 23, 2010

Mito's marvels span time, TV and beauty

Last, but not least, on this Ibaraki travel itinerary is Mito, the prefectural capital. Known to those who watch Japanese television as the home of Mito Komon, the leading character in Japan’s eponymous and longest-running TV series, which has been aired continuously since 1969, ...

Oct 25, 2009

Bodhisattva of the river road

“Have another drink, Boss!” Yes, Saburo Yamada was the boss, the company president — and yes, he would have another drink. And why not? Business was good. His small but productive company made ships’ propellers and marine metalwork and had contracts with Mitsubishi, one ...

Jan 25, 2009

Can farmers keep tuna on the menu?

In December 2007, the Fisheries Laboratory fish farm of Kinki University in Wakayama Prefecture became the first facility in the world to “close the cycle” by breeding Pacific bluefin tuna (hon-maguro) from completely cultured sources. That is, a third generation of fish was bred ...

Jan 25, 2009

What future for fish as Japan's daily fare?

When I first joined a commercial hook-and-line boat fishing for salmon off the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, in 1976, we began our season in April, moved north through the summer months, and returned home at the end of October. When I finally ...

A herring fishery shows that the big picture can be elusive

Jan 25, 2009

A herring fishery shows that the big picture can be elusive

Nearly all the herring roe now used to make the Japanese new-year delicacy kazunoko comes from North America’s west coast. The ocean-living herring go there in huge numbers to spawn in March, and are met by ranks of predators, including cormorants, terns and gulls, ...