an ode to yudai-kun.


while farming was an excellent way to get sunburned, it occurred to me that there had to be a faster and more physically taxing way to get the same results.  and then i was invited to go fishing, and everything fell into place.

i got to the port around 8:45 on saturday morning, and fished until around 4.  it was super hot, smelled like fish and bait and sweat and sea water, and i had pretty much no idea what the heck i was doing.

in other words, i had a freaking blast.  we caught about 250 little mackerel (which were delicious), two giant pacific saury, one or two horse-mackerel, and two baby splendid alfonsino (which we threw back so they could become more delicious as adults).  but that isn’t the point of this post.

the point of this post is to pay homage to one of the greatest people i have met in japan so far.  his name is yudai, and i can only describe him as the japanese huck finn.  is he a little portly?  yup.  does his crack show every time he bends over the put bait on his fishing pole?  heck yes, it does.  and it is pretty darn endearing.

i won’t go into the details, but yudai-kun doesn’t exactly have an easy life.  due to the dubious nature of his parent’s work, they are not always around (and sometimes incarcerated), which means he has to do most of the looking out for his crazy (but adorable) six-year-old sister.  he’s a good kid, and although he gets into trouble in school, he spends every spare hour he can at the port developing his skills as a fisherman.  not that they really need developing.  he made me look like a moron, and he’s eleven.  seriously, towards the end we had to tell this kid to please stop catching fish because we couldn’t gut them fast enough.

he knew all the best spots, all the best lures, all the best fish, and had the perfect attitude for fishing.  he had an air that screamed, “hey, i’m fishing.  and so are you.  let’s just fish, and maybe in between we’ll say some stuff to each other.”  and somehow, over the course of eight hours of not really talking that much, we became friends.

here’s to you, yudai-kun.  you are the man, and i’m proud of you.  i can’t wait until next we meet.

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