New uminchu diner to open in Itoman

New uminchu diner to open in Itoman

“I want to let people know about delicious Okinawan fish,” said Hiroyasu Tamaki in Itoman.

January 4, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

In mid-February, Hiroyasu Tamaki will open an Itoman fishermen’s style diner in Nishizaki. The restaurant will reflect traditional Itoman uminchu (fishermen) culture, and will use fresh fish caught in the sea off Itoman. A feature of the menu is going to be a modern version of a traditional meal fish soup that uminchu used to eat every day. Tamaki said, “We want to provide newly arranged traditional local cuisine and increase awareness of fish in Itoman. Tamaki’s parents’ family business is the fish wholesaler, Sho-Reito Co., and he helped them when he was a child. They took him to the fish market, and so he became familiar with fish.

After he graduated university, he became a bank clerk. He then opened an izakaya or Japanese style tavern in Naha. Just when he was thinking of opening another izakaya in Itoman, he read the book Fishermen of Okinawa – the life and times of Itoman uminchu by Hisako Kato. He found his grandmother’s name in the book and felt a connection through this. Because he was thinking of opening another izakaya in Itoman, the book encouraged him to go ahead with the idea. He visited Ken Uehara, the manager of Itoman Uminchu Studio Resource Center and learned about traditional uminchu cooking. Tamaki said, “I want to let people know about local cuisine, which was enjoyed by the Itoman uminchu. By playing around with the approach to cooking and seasoning, I would like people to know more about delicious Okinawa fish dishes.”

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato and Mark Ealey)

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