Fish of the Season

Japanese people consume 56 kg of fish per capita. Don’t we get bored? No. Yes, we do eat fish all the time, but there are plenty of different fishes depending on seasons. People grow and eat different vegetables each season. Then how about fishes? Fishes are always there in the water, but they do have a season too. Fishes taste the best just before spawning, and that is when we chase the nutritious best-tasting ones.

Fish of Akita

There are a variety of fishes in Akita that people catch fishes of the season. “Hatahata” is the most famous here that people call it “The fish of Akita.” Snow starts to cover the ground and water gets rough from mid-December. Hatahata comes to the coastline from deep in the ocean for spawning at that time. “Hatahata” means fish of thunder in Japanese letter. Fishermen say that Hatahata comes to the coast on the rough and stormy sea like a day of thunder.

A Last Big Work of the Year

People in Akita get excited for the season of Hatahata when the long winter is about to begin. It is one of the busiest seasons for workers at fishing industry in Akita. Sometimes the ship is about to sink because of the enormous weight of this fish. Locals get together to sort these fishes by sex and size and send them to markets immediately. Hatahata goes back to the bottom of the sea after a week of spawning that the harvest season is very limited. People in Akita work hard for the harvest as the last big job of the year.

“Hatahata is coming!”
I have got call from fisherman, and we run to the harbor. The last night was heavy storm with thunders. It is actually the name of Hatahata. In Chinese, Hatahata is the fish of thunder. They come to shallow water in heavy storm for laying eggs.

However, this time we could not see Hatahata because the storm was too heavy to catch the fish. I understood how difficult to get thunder fish. A week later, we finally saw Hatahata by fishing! Please read the next article! (From Germany)