Tenkara – no – Oni — Masami Sakakibara’s World of Tenkara —


Katsutoshi Amano

The Master of Mainstream Tenkara in the Rivers of Mashida

Katsutoshi Amano

Born 1943 in the Masuda district of Gero, Gifu Prefecture.  In his youth, he enjoyed bait fishing for Amago and Iwana in the mountain streams of Masuda. He doesn’t remember when he got into Tenkara exactly, but it’s been well over 50 years.  Mr. Amano is also a renowned Ayu (Sweetfish) fisherman, competing in many tournaments in Japan every year.


Mr. Amano’s Tenkara Tackle

Rod: Oobashi Turigu “Mai” 3.8m (6:4 Soft/Slow Action)   “Ten” 3.8m (7:3 Hard/Fast Action)

Casting Line: Handmade taper line 7.0m plus tippet

Harisu: #0.8 1.5m

Uses #8 sakasa kebari only


An Old Friend Who Shares My Values

Katsutoshi Amano

 Well I must have known Mr. Sakakibara for over 30 years now. Early on he was struggling to figure it out.  He came to me and I remember telling him that he needs to establish a style of his own.  Every time we met, he’d bring all kinds of lines from tapers to even salt water lines and test them out one by one, in an attempt to establish his long line casting.

So, if my memories are correct it is Mr. Sakakibara that established the concept “Level Line Tenkara” well before Ishigaki sensei .   Mr. Sakakibara was a true scholar of Tenkara.  One time he came to me asking for a decent spot to fish and I told him where to go, then he caught a 50cm Iwana right away.   It’s fun to remember the old days.  Mase river was in great condition back then.  I’d call Mr. Sakakibara to come fish with me and we caught a lot of fish… it was a lot of fun.   I get along with him well even though the lines we use are different, because we’re both headed in the same direction.

We both think of Tenkara as a true sport, and we both want a fair game with the fish.  If you put live bait on a hook, of course you’d catch some fish.  Lure fishing often uses multiple hooks on a lure.  To me that’s not going one on one with the fish.  In Tenkara, you could try to make a kebari look like a live bait but that’s not all there is to it.  It’s about inventing and using “techniques” to get the fish to bite.  That’s what it’s about.  Casting with a long level line is also fun and challenging.  Mr. Sakakibara and I share these values.

Another thing we share is that we both like to fish the mainstreams.  My philosophy in Tenkara is, “those who conquer the mainstream conquer the rest”.  I’m sure that Mr. Sakakibara would agree.



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