touring the rents; pt. 1

August 16, 2012

cormorant fishing is a major source of tourism for the city of gifu. it is one of the few places in the world where the traditional form has been practiced, uninterrupted for over 1,000 years.

starting in may, the fishermen go out each night, two or three to a boat, with ten or so cormorants swimming beside them. the fishermen hold on to rope that is tied to each bird’s neck, preventing them from swallowing the fish they catch.  as the birds go to work catching fish, the fishermen work to control the boat, tend to the fire lighting their way, and most importantly, pull the birds out of the water to take the fish from their mouths.

ayu, a small sweetfish, are the main catch.

when my parents came to visit last month we hopped one of the viewing boats. the boats follow the fishermen from a short distance, allowing you to watch the entire process. at the end the boats are docked so that the fishermen can reveal that nights catch as well as feed the cormorants.despite my initial aversion to the potential torturing of birds, it’s definitely something worth seeing… and supposedly, the fishermen treat their cormorants pretty well.

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3 Responses to “touring the rents; pt. 1”

  1. trawlerowner said

    Most interesting! Say hi to mom & dad!

  2. terry said

    It was awesome! a must see if you visit Gifu, Japan. May – Oct. So many wonderful sites we visited, this being one of my favorites.

    • trawlerowner said

      maybe someday! Off to China in Sept. & Japan maybe in the future. Too many places to see while we are still able! We enjoy Japan from your views!

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