Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wakame seaweed harvest on Enoshima Island, Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture Japan 11th April 2013

During my trip to Japan I decided to visit the town of Onagawa in Miyagi prefecture that I had seen a documentary about just a couple of months after it had been devastated by the march 2011 Tsunami .
I will write a lot more about the town and my experience there later. For now I had time to compile these photos of the Wakame seaweed harvest on the small Island of Enoshima off the coast of Onagawa. 
This Island suffered a huge Tsunami of around 38 meters in height that caused terrible damage to it's infrastructure, again I'll write about the Island as a whole later. It was amazing, given the above, that around 20 households were still able to live on the island and I felt very privileged and pleased to see how employment had also returned to the area. We witnessed the local people unloading and processing that day's seaweed harvest. 
Please click on the photos below once and then a second time to see all the detail.
The process seemed to be that the ladies were cutting the harvest into two product types ( maybe stem and leaves ? ) the leafy part was then boiled up in the cage you can see in the photos, when it changed colour from brown to deep green. The green leaves were then cooled in two baths of water and put in small batches in plastic boxes. Later each batch was salted in a revolving drum , two bowls of salt to one box of seaweed. The salted product was then tipped from the drum into net sacks.

The red and white boat you can see in the first picture was the ferry we arrived in.

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