Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Thousands converge on Nara Pref. city for nat'l goldfish-catching championship

Children try to catch goldfish from a small pool at the 25th national goldfish-scooping championship in Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture, on Aug. 18, 2019. (Mainichi/ Kenichi Kayahara)

YAMATOKORIYAMA, Nara -- Some 1,850 contestants and 18,000 spectators descended on this western Japan city on Aug. 18 for the 25th national goldfish-scooping championship.

Goldfish-scooping, in which people use a paper ladle to try to catch small goldfish from a shallow pool before the ladle dissolves, is a mainstay of summer festivals in Japan.

The legions of players on-hand at the multipurpose gymnasium in Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture -- known for raising vast numbers of goldfish -- competed to capture the most fish in three minutes using the Japanese paper "poi" ladles. The contestants were divided into three categories, with the adult individual event winner, a local man, grabbing 70 of the tricky fishies. The individual primary and junior high school student category was won with 60 goldfish captured by a boy from Osaka, while the team event was won by a group called "Cho Athena" from the nearby prefectural city of Sakurai, with 146 netted.

Artist Riusuke Fukahori paints a giant goldfish at the venue for the 25th national goldfish-scooping championship in Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture, on Aug. 18, 2019. (Mainichi/ Kenichi Kayahara)

Also making an appearance at the event was artist Riusuke Fukahori, who specializes in painting goldfish with a unique technique combining resin and acrylic paints. He attracted plenty of attention as he painted a giant goldfish on a piece of Japanese paper cut to look like an enormous "poi" ladle.

(Japanese original by Kenichi Kayahara, Nara Bureau)

Also in The Mainichi

The Mainichi on social media

Trending