Wani (shark) Dishes
It is said in the Bihoku region that ray, octopus and wani are the best dishes,
and no festivals or New Year's Day can come without a wani dish.
Wani, also called fuka, means shark. Once, people in the Bihoku and Geihoku
region obtained food, such as fish and seaweed, through trade with people in the
Sanin region. Going across the Chugoku Mountain range, products from the
Japan Sea arrived by boat on the Gono River or were carried by people. Among
them was wani. Wani dishes took root firmly all over the Chugoku Mountain
region as a traditional food using imported materials.
The habit of eating wani is especially concentrated in the Bihoku region and
wani is valued as sashimi.
The main fishing ground for wani is Isodake, in Ota City, Shimane Prefecture.
But recently wani caught in Shizuoka Prefecture and the Kyushu district are used
due to the decrease in the catch at Isotake.
The Mansakuchaya Restaurant, which makes a specialty of wani dishes, was
opened in Takechidani, Kuchiwa-cho (Shobara City) in 1986. There are more
than twenty menu items, from traditional sashimi to deep fried wani, pickled wani
and boiled wani, called "yubiki", and people who visit this town taste and enjoy
Traditional flavor in nothern Hiroshima Prefecture (Photograph taken circa 1994)
When it came to sashimi, in olden times there was only wani in the northern part of the prefecture. All others were salty fish. People called wani, "no-salt fish", and ate it as sashimi.
Boiled wani, "yubiki", widely made in areas other than the Chugoku Mountain region, is flavored with mustard miso (soybean paste).