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Monday, September 5, 2011

typhoon and Pacific saury

The typhoon No.12(Talas) is moving toward the north at the speed of 10 km/h after moving across western Japan. It is very slow and proceeded only 1,000 kilometers in a week. The areas near the typhoon's path are being subjected to torrential rains for long periods of time.  Warm and humid winds are flowing to Japan because of the typhoon, so several areas geographically distant from the typhoon are also being hit by heavy rains. In 9 prefectures, 22 people were killed and 55 are missing. Torrential rains have still continued in some areas.

September 1st is the 210th day(二百十日) from Rissyun(立春,the first day of spring) and it means the beginning of typhoon season.

This day is also Disaster Prevention Day. It was established to mark the Great Kanto Earthquake which occurred on September 1st in 1923.
Large-scale disaster drills for possible large earthquake and tsunami were held throughout Japan on August 28th and September 1st. The Metropolitan Police Department blocked some main highways at 97 points 10 minutes from 9 a.m. on September 1st. In Yokohama, the local government held a Large-scale drill in collaboration with local fire department, the local police, the Self-Defense Force, the Japan Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy. The local fire department and a railroad company held joint training.


The 16th Meguro Pacific saury(sanma) Festival(目黒のさんま祭り) was held near Meguro Station in Shinagawa Ward on September 4th. Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture has provided Pacific sauries to this annual festival for free.

Another Meguro Pacific saury Festival will be held at a park in Meguro Ward on September 18th. To this festival, Kesennuma City in Miyagi Prefecture has provided Pacific sauries for free.

Both cities were severely damaged by tsunami this year, so many people doubted whether these festivals could be held this year.
Seeing catastrophic damage of the Kesennuma fishing port, I never thought I would be able to eat cheap Pacific sauries this year. Sanriku is blessed with an abundance of seafood and was a major base for fishery production.

In April, fishermen restarted to land fishes at a temporary fish market in Miyako Bay. Sixty four million in donations for tsunam victims has also been collected by the organizers of the festival and others. Miyako City sent 7,000 Pacific sauries to the festival this year.
However, the organizers requested participants to pay for the fishes in a donation box this year.

Shinagawa Ward made a friendship city agreement with Miyako City in 2002 and Meguro Ward did it with Kesennuma City after these festivals started.

These Pacific saury festivals derived from comic storytelling called rakugo(落語) which dates back to the late 17th century during the Edo Period. One of rakugo stories is "Meguro no Sanma(Pacific saury in Meguro)."

A lord happened to eat a grilled Pacific saury in Meguro when hunting with a falcon. Blue-backed fishes including the Japanese sardine, the mackerel and the Pacific saury tend to be high in the essential amino acid, but they were regarded as fishes for the lower classes in those days.

Although he requested to serve a Pacific saury, his subordinate lost its taste by spending a lot of time and care on the fish. He asked his subordinate where he got the fish. His subordinate answered he did it at the fish market in Nihonbashi. The lord said. Pacific sauries from Meguro was as good as the best.
Meguro was situated away from the sea and had no links to the fish market. This story mocks the lord's ignorance of the world.

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