Group of sea bream fishing boats
Sea bream fishing show
Brave sea bream fishing
Early summer sightseeing in Tomonoura features the traditional sea bream fishing. A traditional fishing method, it has been handed down for about 370 years in Tomonoura. The sea bream, having spent winter in the open ocean, pass through the Bungo Suido channel and Kii Suido in early summer. The fish head for Tomonoura in the central Seto Inland Sea, seeking its calm waters for spawning. Up until the early Edo period the fishermen would drag a seine from the beach in coastal dragline fishing method, but as the years passed by they devised a means of waiting for schools of fish to come for spawning in advance, and would capture them.
Praying for safe navigation and a good haul, barrel drums and a “good catch” song beat all over the beach, while Otohime, the dragon princess of the sea and servant of Benzaiten (Sarasvati) does a dance to pray for a good haul. They pray to Benzaiten in Benten-jima Island and go out for fishing on small boats called tebune. The seine is drawn in the traditional manner. It’s quite an entertainment to watch the fishing show over the water, while the sea breezes blow gently by. Sea bream fishing, a time-honored skill brought forward to the present day, will be a memory cherished in the heart of every visitor.