Newly built boat adorned with vivid ‘big catch’ flags enters Usuya fishing port in Obira

Hokuo-maru enters the port with ‘big catch’ flags flying

The ‘Hokuo-maru’, a newly built boat owned by Yamada Nobuhiko of the Kanetaichi Yamada Fishing Company, entered the Usuya fishing port in the town of Obira in northern Hokkaido, adorned with approximately 40 ‘big catch’ flags. Approximately 200 locals turned out to welcome the boat, which was the first upbeat talking point in a long time, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 On the morning of the 6th, which was blessed with blue, summer skies, the Hokuo-maru entered the port with the crew aboard, and received prayers from a temple priest for safe operations. One-hundred-and-eighty kilograms of rice cakes and 200 helpings of auspicious red-bean rice were distributed among the townspeople as part of the celebrations.

 “We are able to do this today thanks to my parents and the local people. All the fishing companies are being badly affected by the Coronavirus but we want to continue operating safely so that everyone can eat lots of delicious fish and scallops,” said Yamada about his motivation.

 Yamada was lifted by his fishermen colleagues and thrown into the sea as part of the boisterous blessings. Falling into the sea during the celebrations is said to prevent any falls during actual operations, and is part of the safety prayer ritual.


Usuya fishing port