+81-972-64-6320

Contact Us info@juuhousuisan.com

Headquarters: 997-1 Oaza Ichihama,
Usuki-shi, Oita Pref. 875-0052

GoogleMap

Culture Farm: Aza Fujita Hinoura,
Sashiu, Usuki-shi, Oita Pref. 875-0001

GoogleMap

Message from the President

The sea is the source of life.

- The history of Juhousuisan and its encounter with Kabosu-fed yellowtail.-

Juhousuisan, Inc

President Kensho Sasaki

Aquaculture farming started with a bamboo raft

Until around 1965, my older brother was engaged in rolling net fishing, and he used to catch Japanese anchovies to make dried anchovy. He had a processing plant and shipped dried anchovy for dashi (a Japanese soup stock). With the advent of chemical seasonings such as MSG, in those days, the price of dried anchovy started to fall.
Fortunately, there was a customer who bought a large quantity of anchovy. My brother wondered what the customer was going to use the anchovy for. He asked the customer, who told him that the customer was using it to feed farmed yellowtail.
So, my brother decided to start the cultivation of yellowtail. At first, he built a raft by arranging four thick-stemmed bamboo poles in parallel crosses and set a net in the parallel crosses to make it a fish preserve.
When I graduated from high school, my older brother asked me to help him to wind the net fishing. I helped him with that. I carried the fish that we caught to the market in Oita, and I also fed the fish in the aquaculture farm.

In 1980, the Japanese, the Oita prefectural and the Usuki municipal government, and the local fishermen’s cooperative developed a fishing ground near Mitsukojima. Many aquaculture farmers gathered there on the new fishing grounds. We also took part, towed the fish preserve from the conventional fishing ground by boat and started farming at the current position. As a result, our business focused on aquaculture.
I remember that our aquaculture farm raised 10,000 yellowtails and a fish preserve each for horse mackerel and sea bream in our early days.
After that, we gradually increased the scale. In 1971, we were able to construct building, warehousing, workshop, and refrigeration facilities.

Is Usuki’s seawater not suitable for aquaculture farming?

When we started aquaculture farming, it was said that Usuki’s seawater was colder than that of the sea in the south of the prefecture. The fish were smaller in size, and in those days, the market preferred large-sized yellowtail that commanded a high price. I suppose that there were many seafood companies taking a method to ship in enormous quantities outside the prefecture.
I attached significant importance to shipments within Oita prefecture and shipped a proper amount which we were able to keep fresh.
Farmed yellowtail gradually became less rare and customers began seeking farmed yellowtails of better quality and larger in size. Although farmed yellowtail raised in Usuki’s seawater is not so large, but it tastes good because of its firm meat quality thanks to low-water temperatures. It gradually began to be accepted.

Usuki’s sea

Our rival is Himi’s winter yellowtail.

In those days, a competitive exhibition organized by the Oita Prefectural Brackish Aquaculture Association was started for the purpose of improving aquaculture technology. At the first competitive exhibition, our farmed yellowtail got the best evaluation. The farmed yellowtail was greasy, and the fat remained persistent in the mouth, and it was certain that there were many people who did not prefer the farmed yellowtail. Therefore, I wanted to make efforts to make farmed yellowtail as delicious as possible.
I thought yellowtail farming was far from satisfactory unless studying the delicacy of the winter yellowtail of Himi, Toyama Prefecture, which is said to be the king of natural yellowtail. I have ordered it once at its peak time.
I remember that my wife was surprised at the fatty flesh while slicing the yellowtail.
Indeed, being soaked in soy sauce, the fat floated on top, but when I ate it, I was surprised by its light taste.
I wanted to farm yellowtail of the same high quality. When I heard that it was good to give garlic, I tried it. When I heard that there was a good water activating device, I introduced it. I spent years of trial and error, but the results were less than ideal. It crossed my mind that there might be certain limitations to aquaculture.

Surprising “Kabosu-fed yellowtail”

In 2010, the Oita yoshokukyougikai (aquaculture council of Oita Prefecture) announced the results of its research, showing that yellowtail farming with kabosu citrus fruit juice or powder mixed in the feed had a favorable effect. The council approached fish farmers in the prefecture to make field trial efforts. I was half in doubt, but when I consulted the employees, they said that it sounded interesting and seemed worth trying. This triggered me, and our Juhousuisan, Inc. raised its hand. Consequently, four aquaculture farming companies in the prefecture have been farming yellowtail since then.
There was a basic experiment by an ocean research center as to when and how much feed mixed with kabosu citrus fruit should be given. We feed with 0.5% kabosu citrus fruit powder made from fruit skins 25 times, or with 1% kabosu citrus fruit juice 25 times before shipping. We must begin feeding by counting backward based on the shipping time. The point is to figure out the best timing of feeding so that the yellowtail can be shipped when the effect of kabosu citrus fruit appears at the utmost.

It is said that kabosu-fed yellowtail does not discolor easily, due to the antioxidant action of polyphenols and vitamin C contained in kabosu citrus fruit. Of course, it is one of the features, but I was surprised that it was refreshingly delicious and not greasy, and I was able to eat as much of it as I liked.
My aquaculture farming career was long, but it was the first experience of the surprising effect that made me distinguish the difference at first nibble between Kabosu-fed yellowtail and that raised with ordinary feed.

I want to promote Kabosu-fed yellowtail.

After I passed 60 years old, I was honestly aware of my retirement. But, to my surprise when I ate Kabosu-fed yellowtail, it gave me new strength. Our company in cooperation with Oita Prefecture carried out promotional campaigns throughout Japan: including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya. Once I stopped a customer who said he did not prefer farmed yellowtail and encouraged the customer to try it. The customer said, “It’s tasty. This yellowtail is different!” I was incredibly happy when he praised it with a smile.

I also asked an acquaintance who was running a Japanese-style restaurant to think about a dish featuring Kabosu-fed yellowtail.
Kabosu-fed yellowtail can be made into a carpaccio making full use of the vivid color of its flesh. There are local Oita dishes called Ryukyu* and Kirasumameshi*, classic Buri Daikon, Namba Yaki, Arareage-no-Ankake and Buri Shabu. The skin of Kabosu-fed yellowtail is thin. So, when you prepare Buri Shabu, I recommend that you keep the skin as it has plenty of flavor. Finish the course with a rice porridge garnished with slices of yellowtail. Due to the fishy smell of ordinary yellowtail and other blueback fish, they are generally not suitable for porridge. But the Kabosu-fed yellowtail is different, so yellowtail porridge is tasty.
(Editor’s note: Ryukyu* and Kirasumameshi*: See below; Buri Daikon: Strips of yellowtail and daikon radish cooked in a seasoned broth; Namba Yaki: Broiled strips of yellowtail marinated in teriyaki sauce and rolled with green onion; Arareage-no-Ankake: Strips of yellowtail coated with rice crackers, deep-fried, and dressed with a thick starchy sauce; Buri Shabu: Thin slices of yellowtail dipped into a hot broth in a Japanese pot with chopsticks, moved slowly inside the broth for a few seconds, and eaten with citrus-based sauce)

When I eat Kabosu-fed yellowtail at home, I make buri shabu and make it into porridge the following day. There is an easy recipe―you can make broth from local shiro-dashi (a soup base) and eat buri shabu with a citrus-based sauce. It’s worth giving it a try.

*Ryukyu: Sashimi dipped in sauce with sesame and condiments
*Kirasumameshi: Sashimi mixed with tofu refuse. In local dialect, “kirasu” means tofu refuse and “mameshi” means mixing.

Connecting Lives

It has been over 50 years since the foundation in 1964. The company was hit hard by the red tide in the past. I was at a loss, but I was glad and burst into tears when a lot of aquaculture fellows gathered to help us clean up.
I have always stuck with our local customers, and I am happiest when I hear the voices of people who eat Kabosu-fed yellowtail. I am glad when they give us a good evaluation and say that Juhousuisan’s Kabosu-fed yellowtail tastes good and no other amberjacks can hold a candle to Juhousuisan’s amberjack. If the quality is not good, there is a corresponding reaction. I have been encouraged by those voices and Juhousuisan has been able to survive so far.
I would like to continue fish farming and hope that many more people will eat kabosu-fed yellowtail and appreciate its difference from ordinary farmed yellowtail.

While carefully farming fish I always think about the importance of life.
We receive life, nurture life, and connect with life. We are delivering gifts from the sea, the source of life, and we exist because people eat fish. I have always farmed keeping that in mind.
Fortunately, Juhousuisan has many young and proactive employees, and I hope that they are thankful for life and the sea and want to make Kabosu-fed yellowtail a more delicious fish. I also hope more people will find it delicious to eat.