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Photo Journal: Ballooning production

(Mainichi/Naoki Watanabe)

Japanese flying squid are seen pinched to a rotating machine to dry in the sun, after which they will be made into "ika tokkuri" sake bottles, at Kimura Shoten marine product processing company in the town of Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, in northeastern Japan, on Jan. 11, 2019. The bottle is made by removing the internal organs from the squid and inflating it with air. The flavor of the squid begins to dissolve when hot sake is put into the bottle, which can also be eaten. Kimura Shoten was washed away by tsunami from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, but its president Toshi Kimura, 74, reconstructed the recipe for the traditional food item from memory during her stay at an evacuation center, and successfully restarted production about a month after the disaster. Now the company is the last producer of this prefectural specialty, but Kimura is eager to carry on. "The bottles have been made here for many decades. It'd be a shame to end it," she said.

    (Japanese original by Naoki Watanabe, Photo Group)

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