Brilliant Leash-Handling for Upcoming Cormorant Fishing SeasonTraining on Uji River, Kyoto Prefecture
One of the summer traditions in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, is the Uji River cormorant fishing, which officially starts on July 1 this year. A practice-run training was held in public on the Uji River in Uji, Uji City, on June 20 just prior to the start of the seasonal attraction. Cormorant fishers checked the condition of their cormorants, while controlling their harnesses skillfully.
Mariko Sawaki and another cormorant fisher were dressed in traditional attire for cormorant fishing, including "Kazaore-Eboshi" hats on their heads. They boarded boats, with a beacon fire on one, and handled six cormorants each, calling out "Ho-u, ho-u" to them while pulling the leashes. After a cormorant caught a fish, its fisher pulled it up to the boat, and made it release the fish from its throat.
During the open training, two artificially-incubated Japanese cormorants called "Utti" swam and caught fish vigorously along with the other cormorants.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)