Fish
The Japanese language is rich in words and expressions influenced by nature, history and culture. This episode looks at words related to fish. Surrounded by the sea, Japan is home to rich fishing grounds. Fish has long had a central role in Japan's culinary culture, and there are many unique expressions that feature fish. From his home in Kyoto Prefecture, poet and literary translator Peter MacMillan guides us through these words and the culture behind them.
"Saba o yomu" (to count mackerel): to fudge the numbers
"Hipparidako" (an octopus pulled in all directions): someone in high demand
"Unaginobori": racing higher, like an unagi (freshwater eel) swimming upstream
"Ebi de tai o tsuru" (Use shrimp to catch sea bream): to reap big gains with little cost