Usho Apprentice with "Same Blue Eyes" DebutsArashiyama, Kyoto
We followed Larissa Corriveau, who made her apprenticeship debut on July 1 as the first foreign, female "Usho," or cormorant fisher, around the Arashiyama region in Ukyo and Nishikyo Wards, Kyoto City.
"When I saw cormorants, I felt we were friends. The reason was that we have the same blue eyes." She said this is what she felt on her first training day on the 8th of last month.
She continued training under the strong sunlight. Her tense expression reflected on the surface of the water became livelier day by day, and her gaze as she followed the cormorants became sharper.
Her harnesses became tangled up while handling the difficult movement of the cormorants.
"I don't like solicitous concern by being told it doesn't matter if I can't do it because I am a foreigner. I have lived in Japan for six years now, and can do anything, just like Japanese people do. I want to do it."
Under skies threatening rain, taping marks could be seen on Corriveau's hands during the actual cormorant fishing. Sending up a cloud of spray, four cormorant "friends" dived into the water with their blue eyes dyed orange from the flames. She said, "I have recalled the actual cormorant fishing many times before sleeping. I want to do it more successfully tomorrow." The next morning, her eyes seemed to stare fixedly onward at the challenge of the succeeding days.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)