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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Fishing: Disaster "a thing of the past"

November 12, 2015


Macho marine calendar fishes for attention to Tohoku industry




SENDAI--A fishing association is showcasing muscles, not mussels, to promote the appeal of the local industry here that is moving past the devastation wrought nearly five years ago.

Twelve hunky fishermen and brokers in their 20s through 30s who overcame the effects of the 2011 Great East Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster are featured in the Tohoku Gyogyo Danshi Calendar 2016 (Tohoku men of the fishery industry calendar 2016).

The calendar was created by Fisherman Japan, a general incorporated association comprising fishermen and wholesalers in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, and Tokyo-based Naigai Publishing Co.

Haruka Sugawara, an editor at Naigai Publishing, came up with the idea for the calendar to show the actual situation of the fishing industry, which is often associated with “3K” negative images. 3K refers to “kitsui” (difficult), “kiken” (dangerous) and “kitanai” (dirty).

“We highlighted the young men because we also wanted women to take interest in the calendar,” Sugawara, 27, said.

The 12 men operate in the three prefectures--Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate--hardest hit in the March 2011 triple disaster.

The monthly photos show, for example, muscular young fishermen “models” hauling trawl nets on board a ship and steering a fishing vessel under the evening sun.

“Although everyone in the calendar suffered from the disaster, the experience became a thing of the past for them,” said Keisuke Hirai, the 36-year-old photographer in Ishinomaki who shot the images for the calendar.

“They have now gotten over the disaster and turned their attention to the ocean,” he said. “I took pictures of them showing such an attitude.”

The B4-sized Tohoku Gyogyo Danshi Calendar 2016 is priced at 1,706 yen ($14), including tax. Part of the proceeds will be used for activities to nurture young fishermen through Fisherman Japan.

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