Hirame: Japanese flatfish

The Japanese flatfish, or Olive flounder, is a kind of the fish that belongs to the large tooth flounder suborder of the flatfish family. Its scientific name is Paralichthys olivaceus. The two eyes show it is lying on its right side with both eyes on the the left side.

Moreover, it has a feature that the mouth and teeth are big. It is distributed in the Pacific Ocean west (From the coast in the Kurile Islands, karahuto, Japan, and a Korean peninsula, etc. to the South China Sea). The flatfish grows to 1m in total length and about 10kg in weight in the maximum. The flatfish figure has both as right and left side types.

The flatfish lives in sands and the mud lake in the coast at night. It often conceals itself in sand and mud, only the head has been put out in daytime, and the color of the body is made the same color as bottom of the sea when not diving in sand.

The flatfish eats the fingerling, shellfishes, and the mussel worms that live chiefly at the bottom of the sea. The flatfish dives deeply in winter. And, it goes to the shoal of about 20cm in depth for the spawning time from March to July.

The egg is a floatage. The child was born from the egg is lucky also with normal eyes as long and slender as a usual fish. The movement of right eyes starts by about 1cm in the total length. It becomes the same type as parents when becoming about 2.5cm. It becomes an adult fish in about three years. Flatfish’s longevity is short for about several years.

The flatfish is high grade ingredients used for slices of raw fish and the sushi in Japan. Moreover, growth is quick, and geostationary at the bottom of the sea. Therefore, because oxygen is not very needed and seawater not made dirty, cultivation is active. It will be expected to circulate by a further low price considering the cultivation cost in the future.

The individual that doesn’t reach a certain size is discharged again for the resource conservation, and the discharge of the fry is done. The flatfish into which the fry is released doesn’t disappear by the pattern that the belly side is black even if growing up, and is called pandabirame. There are a lot of people who insists on the domination of the natural product who insist that the momentum at food influences the eating quality. The season of the flatfish is winter. It is said that the summer time after eggs is laid loses taste.

The flatfish is best seen in the Niyodo river in Kochi Prefecture.

Kochi : Japans’ haven for drinkers

by Rivan

It is a wet and humid night in Kochi city and many regulars enter the Okinawan bar where I work. They sit at the counter with a karaoke mic in one hand and an Awamori – on the rocks or mixed with water or coffee in the other hand. They are thoroughly enjoying themselves singing Okinawan songs and drinking Okinawan spirits and beer because while they are drinking and singing (even if the singing is a little off key), they have no worries. While a few customers are asking me questions about my life in Kochi, some are just socialising and talking about work, their spouses and life in general. Continue reading Kochi : Japans’ haven for drinkers

Our Sawachi

by Chihiro

In the village of Karyogo, in Nahari town–which prospered in Taisho and Showa periods from ocean Tuna fishery–is a shrine named Nobumori Jinja. In the autumn once a year, the Jinsai festival is held to get the god’s blessing for catching lots of fish. At night there is a party, an “Enkai” where the good harvest is eaten with god’s blessings. The meaning of such a Japanese traditional festival is to share food and drink with god. Continue reading Our Sawachi

Kochi’s Sweeties Grown with Love

by Asami

At the lively Sunday market in Kochi, people look for fresh fruits and vegetables for cooking for supper. And farmers sell their proud products like sweet tomatoes, juicy shaddocks, and so on, enjoying conversations with their customers with lots of smiles. One day, my friend from Okayama and I visited to see the Sunday market. She bought vegetables like a sweet tomato and lots of Kochi’s specialties. Continue reading Kochi’s Sweeties Grown with Love

Jizake in Kochi

by Rei

It was a heavy rainy day when I visited the sake factory in my home town of Kure. I went to that store after, I don’t know, several years, and it had not changed at all. It’s an old Japanese building and at the front of the factory hangs a brown sakabayashi the symbol of sake making. Continue reading Jizake in Kochi

Skipjack Tuna

Skipjack tuna is the English name. Japanese name is katuo. And scientific name is Katsuwonus pelamis. And there are seasonal Japanese namea, that for example is modorigatuo and kudarigatuo. The Skipjack tuna is designated as Kochi prefecture’s fish.

Skipjack tuna is eaten as tataki and sashimi in Kochi. And pole-and-line fishing of Skipjack tuna in Kochi is famous. And also raw Skipjack tuna in Kochi is very famous all over the country.

Skipjack tuna can grow to a body length of 1m of large size and to a body weight 18kg. Its form is spindle-shaped that has low hydrodynamic drag. Section is nearly ring shape.

Skipjack tuna belong to katuwonus of scombridae of scombroidei of perciformes of actinoptergii of vertebrate of chordate of animalia.

There are some varieties of scombridae; the striped bonito (Sarda orientalis), the Skipjack tuna (Katuwonus pelamis), the kawakawa (Euthynnus affinis).

Striped bonito is smaller than Skipjack tuna, but has a lot more of teeth than skipjack tuna, and also back color is different each other. Striped bonito’s color is blue, but Skipjack tuna’s color is deep indigo. The kawakawa, which range at over a large area of the tropical zone subtropical zone of the Indian Ocean, is heavier and has bigger withers weight than Skipjack tuna.

Skipjack tuna’s rage is the temperate zone and the tropical zone area of sea all over the world. ;It exists between the north latitude of 40° and the south latitude 40°of the equator’s both sides. Skipjack tuna visit each the Pacific Ocean side to the south of Hokkaido and Kyushu west coast at Japan. Skipjack tuna’ rage is very large, so discovery skipjack tuna’s migration course is very difficult.

As the above-mentioned, Skipjack tuna is living at temperate and tropical zone. This reason is that Skipjack tuna had a liking for water temperature 17~30°. Principally Skipjack tuna swim by school at sea surface of coast confine.

Skipjack tuna’s back body color is deep indigo and abdominal color is silver white of plain. This back and abdominal color is defense method to so-called counter shadowing. In that connection let me say that a lateral stripe come up to the abdominal when it is excited, and when it die , a vertical stripe and disappear a lateral stripe rise up to the abdominal.

Skipjack tuna is flesh-eating fish. They eat small size fish, crustaceans and cephalopoda. And they are migratory species of fish, so they move during the season, in other words, they goes up north in summer and go down south in autumn.

Usually Skipjack tuna swim at 25~50 kilometers an hour, and at times they swim about 100 kilometers an hour. But they die when they stop swimming. The reason is that skipjack tuna get a lot of oxygen from gills while they swim at high speed. So they experience oxygen shortage when they stop. Skipjack tuna stand higher rank of food chain, but t hey make large school so-called nagura, and play group action.

Skipjack tuna migrate along the Japan Current, so we can see at open sea of the Pacific Ocean (the Japan Current,) in early in summer to autumn in Kochi.

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) classified Hiratake department and Matsuouzi genus. There are three species Donko, Kouko and Kousin. Shitake is so healthy. Recently metabolic syndrome is increasing. Shiitake is low calorie and has vitamin D2. That takes down blood pressure, prevents for stroke and arteriosclerosis. That reduce cholesterol by Eridanin. Vitamin D2 promote calcium to born. So it prevent for osteoporosis. Continue reading Shiitake mushrooms

Wild boar

Wild boar is classified as Vertebrata Mammalia Artiodactyla Suidae Sus Scrofa. And they are one of popular mammals in Japan. They have 16 kinds in world, for example, “Babyrousa” which lives in Indonesia Sulawesi; “Phacochoerus” which called “Iboinosisi” in Japan, which lives in Africa and “Sus” is group which belong Wild boar. They are the ancestors of pig, so their character is similar. In Japan, two kinds boars exist, “Japanese wild boar” (S. scrofa leucomystax) lives in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. “Ryukyu wild boar” (S. scrofa riukiuanus ) which is called Yamashisi or Yamanshi- lives in Ryukyu Islands. Continue reading Wild boar