Asia Grace

Cormorant Fishing Party


Ukai is an ancient Japanese style of night fishing which is so peculiar that parties of observers watch as the fishermen work. Ukai employs cormorant birds on leashes who dive for fish, as is their nature, but who can't swallow the fish because of a metal ring around their neck. The fisherman haul back the bird with the leash secured to their neck ring, and then have them disgourge their fish. Traditionally boats full of curious partygoers are stocked with sake and bright lanterns to float lazily on the Nagara River (near Gifu) while the Ukai fisherman perform.

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