Kusaya photos: Possibly the smelliest photo job ever

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).

kusaya

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.

kusaya liquid

The company president looking oblivious to the stench. I was holding my breath as I took this photo.

kusaya factory owner

6 Responses to “Kusaya photos: Possibly the smelliest photo job ever”

  1. Shinya says:

    Kusaya is actually from the word “kusai” or “it smells”, not kuso lol. This article explains nothing about kusaya. I mean logically speaking, do you know of any dishes where people name their food after crap? (besides the Japs right?)

    Ignorance is bliss. I take it you’re American?

  2. tony says:

    Hi Shinya,

    I had to think hard if to publish your comment because Jap is a racist term in my book.

    I didn’t write that kusaya is named after crap, I wrote that the name was related to the word for crap. I assumed kuso and kusai were related.

    No, I’m not American. And I have no idea why it would matter (except perhaps to you) if I was.

    Tony

  3. Ryan says:

    Obviously Shinya is a racist towards Americans. Which is both sad and annoying. Worlds getting too crowded for that kinda crap.

    However “Jap” is hard to call a racist word, its simply a shortened version of Japanese. I think if your offended by Jap then your being a little oversensitive. Jap/black/oriental/handicapped/gay …none are racist..they just describe the race/orientation if used correctly.

  4. tony says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Hmmm. I thought Jap was pretty innocuous at first, but lots of Japanese people seem to feel quite differently. I has certainly been used in racist ways.

  5. woody says:

    “Jap” is a rude, racist, derogatory, and provocative term however used, be it short for Japanese or as an acronym for Jewish-American Princess. “Ryan”, on the other hand, may not have had to face up to racial prejudice and is not empathatic to those who have.

  6. marky mark says:

    Jeez, how about “Nip” then?
    After all, that is a little nicer since it is derived from the Japanese word for Japan – “Nippon”
    just a thought.

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