One of the first things you see when you get off Yaizu train station is a large whimsical drawing of Katsuo (skipjack tuna or Bonito) musicians. Drawn by the graduating class of the local high school, the fish are depicted as one happy bunch, and you soon find out why. Katsuo fishing has been the main industry of Yaizu since ancient times. Caught in the tropical waters of the south seas, most of the catch is frozen instantly and brought into Yaizu port for processing into Katsuobushi - smoked tuna, which is used for making "dashi" - the essential Japanese seasoning - miso soup is among the savory soups that benefits from Katsuobushi. Of all tunas, Katsuo is considered the most fecund and sustainable. I was in Yaizu, just at the start of katsuo season. I spent a day at a katsuobushi factory and at the old Yaizu port for a story I am writing on Katsuobushi.
An oil painting of Katsuo (skipjack tuna) drawn by Kuno, the late owner of Marusho - 80 year old katsuobushi factory in Yaizu.
A lunch in Yaizu of smoked eel and sashimi of Katsuo and baby sardines. What a productive day!