Back in this spring, Mr. Hisashi Miura (Age 61) and his neighbors restored a traditional fishing boat made with 150-year-old cedar wood. He has named it “kunimasu” to commemorate his late father, Kyubei, who dedicated his passion in studying then-endangered species.
|Fishing Kunimasu in the Early Showa Era|
(Tazawako Kyodo Shiryo-kan)
|A letter sent to Tazawako from Lake Saiko in 1935|
(Courtesy of Mr. Miura)
“Not many dead eggs. Good condition. The money will be sent to you after an arrangement with the prefectural government.” – The Miura family preserves a thank-you letter received from Lake Saiko, where kunimasu was found. The letter is a proof that the eggs were indeed sent to Lake Saiko. It was 75 years ago and five years before the fish died out. Mr. Miura says that he wishes he could have shared this happiness with his father.
Between 1995- 1998, Tazawako Tourism Association had a campaign to search for this “lost” fish. Semboku City government is starting a new project to bring back kunimasu home. “The fishermen had sent out the eggs, probably because they also hoped to bring them back home.” Mr. Kazushi Sato of Tazawako Tourism Association and his associates are hopeful. A group is planning a visit to Kyoto University and Lake Saiko on December 25th- 26th, 2010.
The group is concerned with the survival of kunimasu and what to do with the expired campaign reward; but first, they will visit Lake Saiko and pay a respect and gratitude to the involved community. They will plead a continuing protection to the endangered species.
(Above is summarized commentary on Sakigake On the Web.)