Fishing at Enoshima
In the 1970s Japan experienced a boom in sport fishing. All over the country men (and some women) would spend all weekends, for years and years, on fishing in rivers, lakes and on the oceans. Walk into any Japanese book store and try to count the dozens of dozens of fishing related magazines and you will start to understand the scope of the national interest in fishing. You are also likely to find fishing goods stores in any town in Japan. As the saying goes in the US, “it is a one horse town”, the saying in Japan might possibly be “it is a one fishing good store town”. If you are ever trying to bond with a Japanese man over 50, talking about either fishing or golf is almost certain to be a hit. These days the fishing craze has subdued a little. Young people are not so interested in it anymore, a fact which is visible in the recent demise of one of Japan’s longest running movie series, the Tsuribaka Nisshi (“The Fishing Maniac’s Diary”) of 21 movies (starring Toshiyuki Nishida, in my humble opinion one of the finest Japanese actors of all time and fantastically underrated abroad).
Even though, go to any body of water in the country and you’re bound to see a bunch of fishermen, around the clock. Some are doing it to relax, others as a way to spend their retirement and to get out of the house, others are doing it to put food on the table (the unemployed and homeless). I saw these well equipped sports fishermen at the far shore of Enoshima Island in Kanagawa Prefecture south-west of Tokyo. I saw them catch all kinds of fish, some squids and once even a large octopus. I hope to join one of my fishing friends some day for a proper boat trip out on the ocean!
The last photo is just a lucky shot of one of the original fishers of Japan – the bird of prey circling over the ocean with Mount Fuji in the background.