Jul 26, 2011

The Kunimasu Exhibition at JR Tazawako Station

The discovery of Kunimasu (Black Kokanee), a subspecies of a Japanese salmon which was thought to have extinguished in 1940s, was national sensation in December 2010 – which was even mentioned at the birthday speech by the Japanese emperor!

A FREE exhibition about Kunimasu is being held at JR Tazawako Station. The opening ceremony, held on Saturday, July 23 from 9:00 a.m., was attended by guests like the Superintendent of City Education Board, Semboku City Mayor, President of Tazawako Tourism Association, Chairman of the city assembly, Stationmaster of JR Tazawako Station. (From left to right in the picture below)

The Kunimasu Exhibition at JR Tazawako Station

Although the news has been overcasted by the shadows of the March catastrophe, Kunimasu is still an exciting topic for many local people. Over the months, the local enthusiasts have gathered materials and information to hold an exhibition themed in the history of searching and longing for the symbolic fish.

We have worked to acquire some important resources, such as copies of a Kunimasu-inspired Manga comic book by Takao Yaguchi, and the original copy of the “Wanted” campaign, and last but not the least, the specimens of 70 years ago and the one recently caught in Lake Saiko, Yamanashi Prefecture.

Tazawako specimen (left) and Saiko specimen (right)

Specimens of Kunimasu caught in Lake Tazawa 70 years ago (left) and in Lake Saiko earlier this year (right) are displayed side by side. Another specimen (background of picture on the right) is one of other local fish caught in Lake Tazawa around the same time as the Tazawako specimen.

The older kunimasu specimen is very rare - it is one of the only few that still exist in the world. Mr. Sugiyama, a renown kunimasu specialist says "both are most likely caught after the acidic water has flew in to the lake -- one of the last ones caught on the verge of extinction."

The exhibition is consisted of two parts: the first part with such materials will be held from July 23 to 31st, followed by the later schedule from August 4 to 21st with different materials such as resourceful photographs and panel displays. The exhibition is being held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00p.m.at FOLAKE Tourist Information Center at JR Tazawako Station.

The exhibition is co-hosted by Semboku City, Semboku City Education Board, Tazawako-ni-Inochi-wo-Hagukumukai, Obonai Chiiki Uneitai with a collaboration by Masuda Manga Museum, in Yokote City.

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