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


Tenkara Manners

G:Guardian of the Forest

M:Masami Sakakibara


G: Hey, how are you doing? It’s been a while.


M: Hi!  You startled me. You seem to be in a good mood as usual.




G: Not really…. The forest has been deteriorating and rivers have been enraged lately… I am in great need of a drink.


M: I am terribly sorry to hear that. I have been trying hard to keep the forest happy and healthy.

G: Hey, don’t beat yourself too much. Have faith. The forest still has some fight in itself.

M: If that’s so, I guess I’ll be seeing you again.

G: Of course you will. Well, I do see a lot of fighting in the river lately.

M: That happens when some fishermen carelessly fish downstream and run into other fishermen.

G: Yes, that seemed to be the outset.

M: When I was a young boy, I was taught by elderly fishermen the code of fishing in a river. Always fish upstream and respect boundaries of other fishermen at a different fishing point.

G: In the old days we called it “Split and Share”; fishermen with seniority with experience had first pick of a fishing point in a crowded river.      And other fishermen respected the orders.

M: I believe our forefathers were on the right track and were full of wisdom. Their traditional ways prevented fishermen to argue with each other.

G: It was an unwritten rule to never cut in front of a fisherman upstream. This was called “Chopping the head off”.
M: Right, you’re not supposed to cast in front of another fisherman.

G: I want everyone to fish in peace and harmony with each other.
M: If I spot fisherman upstream, I like to give 500m ~ 1 km between him and myself before I enter the river.

G: Mr. Raccoon was telling me how life threatening it is for him to go down to the river for a drink of water. Many of his family members have been injured by fishing hooks and lines left behind.

M: Harisu (Tippet) that are broken are left by the river with its fishing hook still attached by inattentive anglers.  But I think they should master casting without getting the Harisu stuck in a tree before anything.

G: Talking about casting, I remember you practicing your casting all the time.

M: I still do, whenever I have time. I understand Mr. Raccoon’s concerns and I think we should create a new fishing line that is organic so we can enjoy fishing without endangering other animals and nature.

G: Well, there will be no fishing without nature.

M: I believe basic rules are being kept such as buying a fishing license, not littering, and not disrupting the atmosphere.

G: Oh, have you caught a big one today?

M: Nope, just taking it easy today.

G: Well, I better get going. We’ll meet again!



M: (He’s gone! Maybe I’ll catch a big one since I was graced with his presence today. )


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