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Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Tenkara is a new type of fishing to the US, and information (particularly in English) is sparse. This is the place to build a knowledge base of Tenkara.

Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby dwalker » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:55 pm

Searching around a bit I found this book :
Image

If you look at the front cover the title appears to be literally , word for word "Fishing and Fish Proverb Dictionary"
The book does not appear to be specific to Tenkara, just fishing in general. However, the web page I found it on has other books many of which are Tenkara books or mountain fishing books. Its a web page I find ever now and again.

http://www41.tok2.com/home/tentoumusi/a ... on/hon.htm

The term ことわざ usually gets translated as Proverbs or Sayings. But whether that term means what we think of as proverbs or sayings is another question. It could just mean definitions.

I did find this proverb - つりおとしたうおはおおきい , The fish that got away was the biggest. I think we are already familiar with that one. ;)

And this bad advice proverb - つったさかなはえさをやらない , "There is no need to feed a fish once it has been caught". iow , as an example - Once your spouse has said ' I do' you can take them for granted. Having reached my 40th wedding anniversary this past Friday I can testify that that one doesn't work very well. ;) :( :roll:

I also found two other books the titles or subject appears to be - Sayings of the Angler Looking at the Mountains or Sayings of the Angler Looking at the River ( Stream). But those I think are further from the narrow world of Tenkara.

Maybe like Tenkara fishing itself being as simple as it gets, the only Tenkara specific proverb is the one that says - I remember tenkara when the wisteria blooms.
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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:22 pm

Eddie, great story. Thanks for sharing. I'll repeat what Jayfisher said, you're a great resource for the forum. Thanks for continuing to contribute.

----
Jayfisher,
How does the rainy season match with the best fishing seasons for different fish? Is the Ayu season best around the rainy season? For tenkara, when are the best times for different fish?

The rainy season is fine for all kinds of fishing, but it mostly depends on the conditions. The mid portion of the fishing season coincides with the rainy season, but I don't know if there is much a correlation with rain per se, though high water levels cause by rain, and colder temperatures may adversely affect fishing. Most people have been suggesting that I come in August on my next trip as the weather is better (not rainy).
One interesting fact that Eddie shared with me when we met is about the amago trout and rain. We went fishing on a rainy day and he pointed out how one of the possible, maybe original kanji (chinese characters) for the name amago is actually "rain child", pronounced "ame-go". Ame = rain (雨)Ko = child (子). While Iwana and Amago tend to be well mixed on streams here, I seem to have been catching more Amago than Iwana on rainy days, but it's hard to say why.
----

David, you're quite a master at research! I'm always impressed with the things you find. That's a nice resource page of books you found.

One important thing to remember is that tenkara fishermen were regular people and maybe tenkara didn't conscientiously form their lives, though it was their livelihood. So, stories that may have sprung out related to tenkara were mixed in with other stories. The book you found is a great example. While today there are many people who are consciously tenkara practitioners, it's very possible that many tenkara anglers back in the day were just fishermen and practiced different types of fishing depending on the conditions and that tenkara was a preferred method, but for them just a type of fishing. It's hard to say. But, I can safely assume that proverbs and stories found in that book may have been told or created by tenkara fishermen and bait fishermen alike.

I'm sure there have been some that were told specifically by tenkara fishermen, but by now they have been lost. Even though there could have possibly been a "tenkara culture" of sorts that developed a few songs here and there and possibly stories, there really isn't much of a written culture of tenkara. Most of the things written, and thus preserved, about tenkara have been around in the last 40 years or so. I'm keeping my ears open, and the who's who of tenkara here know I'm interested in the culture and history of tenkara.
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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby jayfisher » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:34 pm

Daniel,

Thanks again for all the interesting information you've given us. And your grilled ayu look delicious! I can see why grilled ayu would go well with beer. :D

David,

I'm impressed at how you pursue information in so many out-of-the-way sources! You come up with so many interesting things.

-Jack
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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:03 pm

Maybe some grilled ayu should be done at the Tenkara Summit in late August. ;)

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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby dwalker » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:47 pm

Daniel @ TenkaraUSA wrote:..David, you're quite a master at research! I'm always impressed with the things you find. That's a nice resource page of books you found..


jayfisher wrote:David, I'm impressed at how you pursue information in so many out-of-the-way sources! You come up with so many interesting things. -Jack


Thanks guys. Nice of you to say - despite my sometimes charging down a false trail. :oops: :? For me its just the fun of 'finding things out ', a puzzle, that I enjoy for a while till burned out on it for a time. :)

Looking forward to all the new first hand experiences, tenkara knowledge, answers to questions we never thought to ask and other impressions Daniel will be able to share after he returns and has time to process it all. :D
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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby Eddie » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:16 am

Daniel,

I don't know whether you know this, but roughly speaking two kinds of iwana are in the main island of Honshu. One is Yamato Iwana mainly living in Gifu prefecture, and the other is Nikko Iwana in the other prefectures. However, only Nikko Iwana are released any prefecture, and even in Gifu prefercture Yamato iwana live only in head streams that are stocked with no iwana. In Kaidai-kogen or Maze-gawa, you may have caught Yamato.

Eddie


The following pictures show these two kinds.
Attachments
Nikko.jpg
Nikko Iwana, which we caught in Norikura highland Nagano prefecture, has a lot of white spots on its back.
Yamato.jpg
Yamato Iwana, which we caught in former Tokuyama village Gifu prefecture, has no white spot on its back.
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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:53 am

Hi Eddie, thanks for the info on the two trout. I did hear about the two types of trout when I visited Kaida-kogen, the person there was talking about how they had one in some streams, but not the other, which was special, but I definitely didn't remember, so I appreciate you posting it.

Yesterday I visited a master net maker, Mr. Mankyu. I will be writing more about him after I visit him for the second time next week, but posted a few pictures on the blog: http://www.tenkarausa.com/blog/?p=1623
It was an awesome visit, and I'm stoked to have connected with him. I'm so excited about spending a day with him again, can't wait.
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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby jayfisher » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:09 am

Daniel,

I don't know how you're managing to do so many things and also still keep us posted in your blog. However, I'm enjoying it so thanks. It really struck me that Yoshimura-san turned down a TV interview, but willingly connects with you. You're making a lot of wonderful connections. What an incredible journey you're having!

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Re: Daniel: Questions while in Japan about tenkara culture?

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:36 am

jayfisher wrote:Daniel,

I don't know how you're managing to do so many things and also still keep us posted in your blog. However, I'm enjoying it so thanks. It really struck me that Yoshimura-san turned down a TV interview, but willingly connects with you. You're making a lot of wonderful connections. What an incredible journey you're having!

-Jack


For me this would be a once in a lifetime trip. Or Sabbatical some may call it. How awesome is it to do something like this. One day maybe. 8-)

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Chris' TenkaraBum Blog

Postby jayfisher » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:40 am

For those of us interested in this thread about tenkara culture, it's really worth going over to the TenkaraBum Blog if you haven't already. Chris' discussion round out this thread nicely. As we know, Chris also visited Japan and hooked up with Daniel. He has several blog posts about his experience. He talks about Daniel as a true "tenkara ambassador," about casting with Sakakibara Masami, and about English in Japan.
Link: http://www.tenkarabum.com/Tenkara-fishing-blog.html

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