Yaizu’s Hacchoro Fishing Boat

Just posted this story about visiting the Hacchoro fishing boats in Yaizu, Japan. Woody Joe makes a great kit of the Hacchoro. It runs about $180, sometimes you can find it for that price INCLUDING shipping, so watch the pricing online. It’s a pretty easy build, and makes a nice looking model. But, I’ve decided to learn more about these traditional bonito fishing boats, and to build a more detailed model after seeing the real (replica) boats.

Wasen Modeler

Yaizu is a coastal city on Suruga Bay, 10 miles south of Shizuoka, and about 50 miles southwest of Mt. Fuji. On a clear day, you can see Fujiyama. I visited Yaizu during typhoon season, and the mountain was obscured by clouds. Yaizu is the home of two Hacchoro (hot-choro), fishing boats that got their claim to fame as boats of these types were once commissioned as escort boats for the retiring Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

img_0886 Hacchoro at the port of Yaizu, wrapped up for the season.

The story goes that the Shogun liked to hunt game using a falcon. Travel to the hunting grounds required a trip by sea. So, to provide escort, 24 fishing boats were commissioned. But, the fishermen operating the boats had a difficult time keeping up with the Shogun’s boat due to strict limitations in place on the number of oars that could be implemented on fishing…

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