Now, I’m not crazy about associating tenkara with stereotypical images of Japan (e.g. samurai fishing, martial arts references, etc), but yesterday I ran across the image above on the web and just had to post it. The image was in an online magazine by Keith at the Jersey Bass Guides blog. It was not a reference to tenkara, but about using poles for “close range harbor fishing” techniques (page 185 of issue #2 of their mag).
Coincidentally, later in the day I was communicating with a fly-fishing author writing an article about tenkara. He was going to use the title “Samurai fly-fishing”, which of course I begged him not to use so the myth that samurai ever practiced tenkara would not continue to live on. Instead, I told him, sometimes we joke that tenkara is the ninja type of fishing (Again, this is a joke, there is absolutely no evidence it was ever practiced by ninjas); but whereas the samurai did practice ayu fishing, standing proudly in slower rivers with 30ft long rods, the tenkara anglers had to be stealthy in their approach to fishing, a bit more like ninjas