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Kumamoto's "Utase Fishing" and "Utase Ships." Generations Old Traditions

This video, titled "[Tomorrow's Heritage Kyushu] Kumamoto's Utase Ships" ([明日の遺産 九州] 熊本「うたせ船」), was uploaded by "N.a."
It's an introductory video of "Utase Ships," the traditional fishing boats handed down in Ashikita (芦北町, Ashikita cho), Kumamoto, in Japan's Kyushu region.

In addition to the Kumamoto Ashikita area, "Utase Ships" are used in traditional fishing practices in areas such as Hachirogata, Akita, located in Japan's Tohoku region.
The Yatsushiro Sea (八代海, Yatsushiro kai) in Kumamoto is also known as the Shiranui Sea (不知火海, Shiranui kai), and is a famous place to enjoy delicious seafood thanks to its high-quality waters.
In the Shiranui Sea, the traditional Japanese fishing method of using the power of the sea breeze to pull up seafood from the ocean floor is still practiced today.

This video introduces Utase Ships and traditional fishing with beautiful images.
Please enjoy the video showcasing ancient techniques in the modern era.

Features of the Utase Ship

Kumamoto's specialty is a traditional fishing method in which bottom trawling nets are set up on an Utase sailboat and dragged along by the sea breeze.

The ship goes to the fishing grounds by engine, but after the net is dropped, fishing is performed using only the power of nature.
Sea hulls such as prawns, crabs, and giant clams can be harvested using this bottom trawling method.
The good thing about this method is that it allows you to catch only the amount of fish you need, and it also allows you to clean the ocean by pulling up debris from the sea floor.
Utase fishing is a traditional fishing method that the Japanese have been using since ancient times to live in harmony with nature.

The fishing is introduced from 1:41 in the video.
It is also explained in the video that "only the necessary blessings are separated from the sea."

Take a Ride on a Beautiful Utase Ship

The appearance of the beautiful boats with white sails going through the scenic open sea is exciting and gorgeous at the same time.
Kumamoto's Utase Ships are so beautiful that they're called the "white-dressed ladies of the sea" (白いドレスをまとった海の貴婦人).
This is introduced at 1:27 in the video.
The beautiful atmosphere in the video helps you understand why it's called this.

Kumamoto’s specialty Utase Ship is operated as a sightseeing pleasure boat during the off-season of fishing.
While sightseeing on the Utase Ships and Ashikita fishing boats, you can also try marlin fishing!
Be sure to look at the beautiful colors of these fish and eat plenty of delicious seafood!
If you want to experience the magnificent views of Kumamoto's gorgeous waters or try your hand at fishing, look into the Utase tours in Kumamoto.

Summary of Kumamoto's Utase Ships

The Utase Ships that sail the open seas of Kumamoto, remind us of the ancient Japanese fishing methods in harmony with nature.
The area around Ashikita, where you can taste delicious seafood and other gourmet dishes, is a somewhat secret spot for traveling to Kyushu.

The video also introduces the dazzling white sails of an Utase Ship as it moves forward with the wind.
It is a Japanese tradition we recommend checking out.
If you're interested in Kumamoto's Utase Ships presented this video, be sure to plan a sightseeing trip to Kumamoto!

Written By
Sep. 15, 2020
Japan
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
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