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Photo Journal: Fishing with fire


Blazing braziers hang above boats on the Nagara River in the city of Gifu on the night of May 11, 2017, at the start of the Gifu Nagara Kamo Ukai (cormorant fishing) season. The event is said to go back more than 1,300 years, and is mentioned in the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, ancient, semi-mythical annals of Japanese history. On May 11, some 1,000 people boarded 38 tour boats to watch the fishing skiffs, each with a brazier hung above the water and 10 to 12 leashed cormorants. The firelight is used to make it easier for cormorants to catch sweetfish. The fishermen then quickly pull the bird up onto the boat and force it to regurgitate the fish before returning the cormorant to the water. The cormorant fishing season runs until Oct. 15. (Mainichi)

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