Hamo pike conger


Pike conger eel (hamo)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Summer
***** Category: Animal and Humanity


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dragontooth . Muraenesox cinereus

The best hamo come from the Inland sea and Awaji Island.

hamo 鱧 / 海鰻 pike conger eel
ikihamo 生鱧(いきはも)life hamo
matsuri hamo 祭鱧(まつりはも)"hamo for festivals"
especially the Gion festival in Kyoto, see below

mizuhamo 水鱧(みずはも)"water hamo"
kohamo 小鱧(こはも)small hamo

hihamo 干鱧(ひはも)dried hamo
hamo ichiyaboshi ハモ一夜干し dried for one night

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gongiri 五寸切(ごんぎり)"cut is small pieces"
This is a special expression used in haiku, refering to the honegiri cutting of bones. It is also used as another name for the fish when prepared as food.
also the chinese characters 風海鰻 are used for hamo.

hamo no kawa 鱧の皮 (はものかわ) skin of the hamo
..... hamokawa 鱧皮(はもかわ)
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hamo-otoshi はもおとし / 鱧おとし hamo on ice
bite-sized pieces on ice or in a wooden tub, to keep you cool in summer
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hamozushi 鱧鮓(はもずし) sushi with hamo
a kind of oshizushi. The fish is first grilled and covered with special sauce.
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hamo sashimi はも刺身, a speciality of the Kyoto area in Summer. It is hacked very finely because of the many small bones and takes an experienced cook to prepare it properly.
. . . CLICK here for 鱧(はも)料理 Hamo Dishes . Photos !


Hamo has two food seasons,
one is in summer, just after the rainy season is over. He is then eaten for the Gion Festival in Kyoto or the Tenjin Festival in Osaka (matsuri hamo). The Gion Festival is sometimes even referred to as "Hamo Festival".
In former times, this rather strong fish had to be carried in barrels of sea water from the coast to the captial in Kyoto, taking a few days.

His second best season to eat is in autumn when he is much fatter and called "gold hamo" 金鱧 or matsutake hamo 松茸鱧.

He is rich in vitamin A and calcium and iron.
His many bones are bothering when eating, so they must be cut very finely (honegiri 骨切り "cutting the bones") and the chef who prepares them must learn how to do that. In a span of one SUN 寸 (about 3 cm) you have to make cuts for 26 times in the flesh without cutting the skin below. A special hamo knife is used for this purpose. When it is then dipped into hot water it curls like a cherry blossom flower.
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For tempura, the backbone of the fish is also used as some kind of "bone cracker" (hone senbei).

Hamo soup (suimono) is a delicate broth and the fish is slightly covered with kuzu arrowroot starch.

Referenc : Hamo cuisine in Kyoto

Botan-hamo 牡丹ハモ Hamo in Brühe
Genpei Yaki 源平焼き Gegrillter Hamo in 2 Varianten

suzuhamo スズハモ Muraenesox bagio
hashinaga hamo ハシナガハモ Oxyconger leptognathus
watakuzu hamo ワタクズハモ Gavialiceps taiwanensis

Worldwide use

Anago ist Meeraal

Things found on the way

Gion matsuri 祇園祭り (ぎおんまつり)
Gion Festival in Kyoto

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The Gion Festival (祇園祭 ) takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行) on July 17.

Kyoto's downtown area is reserved for pedestrian traffic on the three nights leading up to the massive parade. These nights are known as yoiyama (宵山) on July 16th, yoiyoiyama (宵々山) on July 15th, and yoiyoiyoiyama (宵々々山) on July 14th. The streets are lined with night stalls selling food such as yakitori (barbecued chicken skewers), taiyaki, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, traditional Japanese sweets, and many other culinary delights. Many girls dressed in yukata (summer kimono) walk around the area, carrying with them traditional purses and paper fans.

During the yoiyama eves leading up to the parade, some private houses in the old kimono merchant district open their entryways to the public, exhibiting valuable family heirlooms, in a custom known as the Byōbu Matsuri, or Folding Screen Festival. This is a precious opportunity to visit and observe traditional Japanese residences of Kyoto.

This festival originated as part of a purification ritual (goryo-e) to appease the gods thought to cause fire, floods and earthquakes. In 869, the people were suffering from plague and pestilence which was attributed to the rampaging deity Gozu Tennō (牛頭天王). Emperor Seiwa ordered that the people pray to the god of the Yasaka Shrine, Susanoo-no-mikoto. Sixty-six stylized and decorated halberds, one for each province in old Japan, were prepared and erected at Shinsen-en, a garden, along with the portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Gion Matsuri / Gion Festival
and its kigo


External LINKs

by Ad Blankestijn, Japan Navigator
Hamo is Daggertooth Pike-Conger, a white-meat fish from the eel family. As its English name reveals, it has a deep ripped mouth with sharp teeth at the upper and lower parts of the jaw. The name hamo comes from hamu, an old term for eating, because the fish uses its sharp teeth to eat almost anything from shrimps and crabs to small fish.

Guide to Japan


izushi no hamo natsukashiki Kyoto kana

pike conger vegetable sushi -
how fond the memories
of Kyoto

Kikaku 宝井其角(たからいきかく)

izushi is a kind of sushi when fish is pickled with vegetables like radish or turnips (kaburazushi 蕪鮨(かぶらずし).


take no yado hiru mizuhamo o kizamikeri

lodging in a bamboo grove -
for lunch they are cutting
pike conger in water

Matsuse Seisei 松瀬青々 (1869~1937)


Kyoo ni arite matsurihamo kuu hitasura ni

I am in Kyoto
and all I do is eat
festival pike conger

Kaneko Tohta 金子兜太


Oosaka no matsuri tsugi tsugi hamo no aji

Osaka Festival -
one after the other
the dishes with pike

Aoki Getto 青木月斗 (1879―1949)

Related words

***** . Gion Matsuri 祗園祭 Gion Festival




Gabi Greve said...

eel, unagi, 鰻、うなぎ, Aal
Anguilla japonica


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend about hamo from Okinawa
kame to sen 亀,鱣 (hamo 鱧 pike conger eel)
Once a man named 蔡譲 was on his way to China, when a typhoon came and he fell over board.
Suddenly one 亀 turtle and two 鱣 sea snakes came and helped him.
It became custom in his family never to eat the meat of a turtle or pike conger eel after that.