When I saw the TV program 'Solomon Style', which is a documentary featuring persons playing active roles in their field of work, I learned of the presence of an interesting person and I got to have a big question.
He is a fisherman. He graduated from famous Japanese university, and was eager to become a trading firm employee, he changed his plan, however, because of his grandfather's words on his death bed, then he became a fisherman.
I was wondering what kind of thoughts people like him have, who know both, the fisherman path and the path of the university graduate. So I interviewed him in his working place Funabashi port. (See maps below)
The port is in Chiba prefecture.
1. Compassion of the Samurai
Up to now, or generally speaking, we fisherman transported our fishes to Nagoya after hauling them in, then at whole sale market in Nagoya fishes were gutted and processed. However we asked the whole saler to send us the same tools to gut and process, and now we do it by ourselves just after returning to our port.
Consequently, we were able to make a brand of fish (Suzuki- Japanese sea bass), which is fresher than any other one. We call that shun jime (瞬〆), which partly (shun) mean that in-season, and wholely (shun jime) mean that be processed in a moment.
株式会社 大傳丸 ・ 海光物産株式会社 | Facebook (his company's FB page)
Above you can see the process. It is done by the very fishermen who caught it. Also it is done in 10 seconds, from the knives first touching the fish until its nerves have been pulled out. This is the compassion of the Samurai.
The Samurai society had an aesthetics, according to which a person should die beautifully. Being unable to be on verge on death or faint in agony is not beautiful, and it is impolite, Samurai thought.
That's why when a Samurai decided to die (Seppuku), there was an assistant (person who beheads to end a seppuku). Asisstants lend hands to Samurais in order to die beautifully.
We, the members of our company, think of this work as a testimony of respect to fishes. If fishes die to be eaten, we want them to be eaten in their best condition. And we feel ; If we don't do this, it means that we do not transport them while they are fresh, it is so impolite to fishes.
2. visualization of the people who take part in fisher industry
If we take such measures to keep high quality of contents, we might as well try our best at packaging. In Japan, we can see vegetable packages with farmer's face and comments, however, fisherman industry doesn't have similar ones, even in Tsukiji market; Japanese most famous fish market.
We put on packege fishermen and processer, transporter's face. There are not only their faces but also the place of our port. Our fishes are born in Chiba prefecture and raised in in front of Edo bay. So we printed it on package that the viewing of Edo bay, which contain buildings like the Tokyo sky tree and like Tokyo Disneyland and a mountain like the Fujisan.
This is not all. What's more, the package uses Augmented Reality, and you can access shun-jime's promotion movie by scanning our logo on the package with your smartphone. Moreover, this movie is made by fishermen.
- The website that presents to the world the charm of Artisans: "Artisans of Japan!" -