Shellfish Gathering

Shellfish Gathering (Shiohi-gari)

April 4
April 4 is approximately the date on which the tide is usually at its lowest in Japan. Families dress in brightly colored clothing and gather in coastal areas where the shellfish are known to be plentiful. They go out in boats decorated with red and white bunting and wait until the tide goes out and strands them on the bottom. Then they dig for clams, which they often cook and eat on the spot for lunch. Fishermen living nearby are more than willing to supplement their efforts, selling clams from their own stock to those whose digging has been unsuccessful. Most people buy a bag of shellfish to take home as well. The maritime police are usually kept busy rescuing those who go out too far and are caught by the incoming tide.
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 76
(c)
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