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


“Tenkara-no-Oni”: Masami Sakakibara Biography

Masami Sakakibara was born in 1951 in a town called “Morimachi”, of Shizuoka Prefecture not far from Mt. Fuji.  Morimachi is located at the foothills of series of mountain ranges in Japan that bisect the main island of Honshū, known as the Japan Alps.  With abundance of nature and many streams close by, he learned to fish at age of 4 from his father.  He would come home from school and play in the river in front of his house every day.  In his youth, he tried everything from saltwater fishing, western fly fishing, lure fishing, bait fishing, to fishing using kebari to catch Ayu (sweetfish) and others. Fishing was not the only activity which kept him busy.  He would dive in the river to observe fish even at night with a flashlight, so he can study their behavior.  This experience led Masami to have his “fish-first” attitude in fishing. Masami often says, “Many people talk about the rod, line, kebari with its color and size. It’s all about the things above the water for them, but until you learn what goes on under the surface of a river, you’re not going to be as successful as you can be”.    He caught his first “Amago” (Japan’s native trout) when he was about 10 years old.  He fell in love with fishing in the mountain streams of Japan for its beauty of the environment and beautiful trout that inhabit them.  At age 25 he decides to focus on Tenkara, in the mountain streams of Japan he loves deeply.  He has since been known as one of the most skilled Tenkara angler, and has become a prominent figure in the Tenkara community of Japan.



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