I’ve just got back from several days on the island of Hachijojima (45 minutes by plane from Tokyo, pop. 8,500).
I thought I’d do a story on kusaya, a kind of malordorous preserved fish that Hachijojima is famous – or rather notorious – for. What does it smell like? Suffice to say the name kusaya is etymologically related to the Japanese word “kuso” (crap).
The liquid used to marinate the fish is never changed – just left to mature in the Hachijojima tropical heat. The company I visited has been in business for about 80 years.
The company president looking oblivious to the stench. I was holding my breath as I took this photo.