Japanese Blowfish (Fugu)

cartoon blowfish image
Today I was looking at an old picture of a manhole cover I had taken in Shimonoseki, Japan.

Manhole Cover with Blowfish graphic

Inspiration image — a manhole cover in Shimonoseki City, Japan with a blowfish graphic.

Japan has the most beautiful manhole covers, and there have been several art projects and books to document them.

Shimonoseki is famous for their blowfish, so it is logical for them to use it as a logo for their city.

I kind of regret not trying fugu* when I was there, but I have to admit that I am particularly squeamish when it comes to fish and seafood in general. I cannot say why I can eat mammals, but cringe at fish—my husband teases me that somehow I feel it is cannibalistic, as I am a Pisces. (^_^)   [I’m not a believer in astrology, but I do identify with the symbol of two fish swimming in opposite directions!] Probably it has more to do with growing up in the Midwest of the U.S. and not really being exposed to (fresh) seafood. I did meet several Japanese people who also did not like seafood, so it was nice to know I’m not a complete freak of nature.

another manhole cover with more realistic renderings of blowfish

Another example of an artful manhole cover with blowfish.

*While it is famous for containing poison, eating Fugu is not dangerous when it is prepared properly. The people who die from it each year are either completely ignorant of what they are doing, or perhaps fully aware of what they are doing (they prepared it themselves). If you eat Fugu at a restaurant (or the fish market in Shimonoseki), they will have removed the part of the fish which holds poison. It is very popular, and many people visit Shimonoseki to enjoy Fugu. If you are ever there, I would recommend trying it, even if I personally chickened out! (^_^)

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3 thoughts on “Japanese Blowfish (Fugu)

  1. This was very interesting. I have seen some of these artistic manhole covers in Matsu and in the little town of Uchiko in Shikoku. I thought your explanation of eating blowfish was very good. Maybe someday you will work up the courage to try it. I hope you guys visit here again!!

  2. Around where I live (yokohama), we have manhole mark with ハ マ (Hama) and not this fancy manhole! I never paid attention to manhole when I was living there. Great observation! It is pretty and interesting when I think about it… 🙂

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