Mahi-mahi sun drying process beings under autumn skies at Ginama Port

Mahi-mahi sun drying process beings under autumn skies at Ginama Port

Funuiyu drying in the sun at the Ginama Port in Kunigami Village on October 15.

October 27, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo
By Takahito Arashiro

Kunigami Village’s autumnal tradition of sun-drying funuiyu (Okinawan for mahi-mahi) began in Ginama. The Funuiyu Festival is held annually around this time of the year at the Ginama fishing port, but this year it was canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, the fishermen began fishing this month, using a 300-year method passed down in the region.

On October 15, Ginama Mayor Mitsuo Urasaki gathered local fishers and residents to the port to kick off the full-scale fishing operations and to dismantle and carve the catch. At around 6 a.m., five fishing boats departed one after another from the Ginama fishing port before dawn. The fishermen caught 30 kg of funuiyu near the floating fish reef and returned to port about two hours later. The fishermen and locals carved the funuiyu into fillets, pickled them in salt for an hour, and hung them in a breezy spot under the sun.

This year, Ginama’s shared store plans to sell 700-gram fillets for 2,000 yen each, beginning early November while monitoring the catch volume. They are inviting everyone to visit and taste the treasured sun-dried funuiyu only available during the fall season.

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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