Drying dolphinfish in the sun in Kunigami

Drying dolphinfish in the sun in Kunigami

A local resident hangs dolphinfish cut open and dried on poles near Ginama Fishing Port in Kunigami on November 8.

November 11, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The drying of dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus, otherwise known as mahi-mahi) in the sun, an autumn tradition in Kunigami Village, has begun. The birthplace of this tradition is Ginama Fishing Port. In the afternoon on November 8, local fishermen and residents delicately hung up dolphinfish that had been cut open and dried on poles set to face north. About 40 dolphinfish were lined up on the poles swinging gently against the backdrop of the autumn sky.

In the early morning, the fishermen caught the dolphinfish using payaos (artificial floating rafts where fish congregate) and pickled them in salt for about an hour. They then cut the fish open and dried them for a day and a half from the afternoon. The villagers carry out the drying of dolphinfish in the sun from October to the following January when the wind is blowing from the north. In Ginama this year it started on November 1.

Ginama Ward Mayor Ritsuzen Yamanoha said, “The drying of dolphinfish started a little late this year, but the quantity is about the same as the average year.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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