You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!
If I ever have a craving for fish, I just have to stand out in front of my house and wait for a fisherman to drive by (which won’t take too long since I live on an island). Last Monday I was waiting outside with my husband to be picked up for a work party when the taxi driver (who is also a fisherman) drove by. He stopped his little K-truck and asked if we wanted some fish. I said yes and he proceeded to fill a plastic grocery bag with around 20 flying fish, 4 long scary looking fish, 3 or so pokey fish, and a weird purple/blue crab (sorry, he said the names in Japanese so quickly that I didn’t manage to remember them all. Any fish experts, please tell me what they are in the comments section below).
^ Our bag o’ fish. Flying fish on the top.
^ Flying fish, also known as “tobi uo” in Japanese. The flying fish is the official fish of Shimane prefecture. It’s commonly ground up, bones and all, to make fish balls which are then served in soup.
^ This fish had tiny barbs on is tail. I kept getting stuck when trying to hold it down while cutting.
^ Blue and purple crab that was caught in the fisherman’s net. So beautiful, I almost didn’t want to eat it…almost.
^ Boiled crab. Very sandy on the inside, but the legs were delicious and really salty!
I love getting fish from our neighbors. It gives me an opportunity to talk with many of the people I nod/bow to and greet on a daily basis and makes me feel welcome. It’s sometimes hard to understand the heavily accented old man Japanese, but the fishermen are so cute and enthusiastic while pointing to their day’s catch that it doesn’t matter what they’re saying, I’m just happy to be a part of it all in some small way.
The only downside to receiving fresh fish is that it’s really tough to scale, gut and prepare the little things. We spent about an hour taking out the insides and cutting them up. As true Chibu citizens, we went out to the ocean in front of our house and dumped out the entrails.
^ Dumping out the guts of around 30 fish. The hawks came and tried to swoop in for an easy meal, but it sunk too quickly.
We ate well that night. Poached fish and boiled crab, fresh and from the ocean we see every day.
Michelle is originally from California, but currently living in the tiny fishing village of Chibu, one of the Oki islands in Japan. Being one of two foreigners living in an island village of a little over 600 people presents many adventures. Come back every Saturday for a new article featuring the interesting and bizarre things she comes across in her life in rural Japan. Once a week not enough? Check out her blog, You, Me, And A Tanuki, for photographs and even more articles.
We’re still looking for more unique and interesting stories from Asia to share with the world, so drop us a line if you’d like to have your own blog featured on RocketNews24.