Making authentic products
Makurazaki is a port town dating back to the mid-Edo period. Among the Japanese prefectures, Kagoshima ranks #1 in the quantity of production of ”katsuobushi” (dried bonito flakes). In this prefecture, Makurazaki has outstandingly thrived with catches of bonitos and production of ”katsuobushi” from early times.
Each step is performed by hand
Nakata visited Kamiyama Katsuobushi-ten, the shop he had been referred to. Five craftsmen worked silently there. Bonitos successively flow between these craftsmen as they change shape.
1. Catching and storage: Bonitos are landed at the fishing port of Makurazaki and stored in a large refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Highest quality achieved by craftsmen
Nakata experienced the step of cutting a bonito raw. He processed a bonito as Yoshiyuki Kamiyama, a master with a 40-plus-year career in the industry, stood next to him. They clean more than 100 bonitos a day. The work of quickly and neatly cutting many bonitos can only be performed by experienced craftsmen. Nakata experienced the difficulty of the work by partially taking part.
After a brief recess, Nakata also tried to shave completed ”katsuobushi” blocks. He also very closely observed the “craft” of Kamiyama, also one of the few masters of ”satsumagiri” in Japan. Each of the seemingly monotonous steps represents serious commitment by Kamiyama Katsuobushi-ten.
- Kamiyama Katsuobushi-ten
- 192 Ebisu-cho, Makurazaki-shi, Kagoshima