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Issue 18: Let’s get creative

May 21, 2010

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Fancy handicraft? Think an origami crane isn’t challenging enough? Try this!
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explanation-3awhiteou know, with all that Japanese studying, sometimes you just need a break, right? So today, let’s get creative and make a Japanese lantern. So I was just chatting with a Japanese friend and I asked him what he was planning to do over the weekend and he told me he was going on a fishing trip with his family in lovely『雑賀崎 (さいかざき、Saikazaki)』. I told him that it sounded fun, and asked him what kind of fish you could catch there. He said he was hoping to catch some『あじ (mackerel)』, then I asked him if he would eat the fish he caught, on which he replied that ofcourse he was going to eat it. Then I jokingly asked if he could also catch『ふぐ (puffer fish)』there. To my surprise he said it was possible! えっ?!

He then told me that they use ふぐ to make lanterns.
…?
Yes, lanterns. The ones you put a candle inside.

I was obviously baffled by the idea. I asked him how on earth do you make a lantern out of a ふぐ? And he sends me a link explaining step-by-step how to create your own『ふぐ提灯ふぐちょうちん、fugu lantern)』. I’ve gone ahead and translated it for you lot (as close to the original as possible), so create some space on your desks and let’s make a ふぐ提灯! (*Attention: graphic images, do not watch while eating, animal lovers please don’t watch at all!)

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The Instructions
(*note: all the original instructions had an exclamation mark behind it)
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picture1. ふぐを絞める!Kill the fugu! (lit. strangle the fugu!)
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picture2. 尾っぽにむかって切 れ目を入れる!Make a cut towards the tail!
3. 切りすぎないように、なるべく小さく開ける!Be sure not to cut too much, open cut a little bit!
4. 皮を破らないように、慎重に胸びれの内側から外し始めます!Without tearing the skin, starting from the inside of the pectoral fin, carefully begin to remove outwards!
5. 背中の方から、少しずつ包丁を入れて身を外していきます!Use your knife and cut along the back little by little as you take the meat out!
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picture6. 背びれと尻びれの内側部分を交互に外していきます!尾びれまで外せたら!Remove the inside part of both the dorsal fin and the rear fin! Remove till you get to the tail!
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picture7. 身を切り落とします!Cut off meat!
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picture8. 内臓を取り出します!Take out intestines!
9. 頭を外していきます!Begin to remove the head outwards!
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picture10. 目の辺りまで外せたら!Remove all the way till you get to the area around the eyes!
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picture11. 次に目を外していきます!目は、皮に付けたまま外します!Next, flip the eyes inside out while they’re still attached to the skin!
12. 両目が外れたら!Face both eyes outwards!
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picture13. 口のつけねまで皮を外します!Remove the skin till you get to the base of the mouth!
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picture14. 次に口を切り落とします!Then, cut off mouth! (the meat ofcourse)
15. 口も皮に付けたまま切り離します!(14の拡大写真)Cut the mouth loose while it’s still attached to the skin! (enlargement of picture 14)
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picture16. これで、すべて取り外した状態!身・内臓・頭の順に取り除く!)(身・頭は店で使います!)Here you see all the removed parts! (Removed in the order, (body)meat, intestines, head!) (You can use the meat and the head in the store!)
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picture17. ここから、おがくずを詰めてふぐを膨らましていきます!軍手をして作業します!)Now we begin to stuff the fugu with sawdust to “puff” (oh the irony!) it up! (Use gloves!)
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picture18. まず尾っぽの方からおがくずを詰めて行きます!菜箸などを使って、しっかりおがくずを押し込んでいきます!)First start by stuffing the tail part with sawdust! (Use tools like cooking chopsticks to firmly push in the sawdust!)
19. 次は、顔の方を詰めていきます!Then, stuff towards the face!
20. 強く押す事によって、皮がのびます!口の下の方を膨らましていきます!)The skin will stretch depending on how much force you use! (The mouth part should bulge downwards!)
21. おなかを膨らましていきます!膨らましていくのは、結構大変!
Stuff and expand the stomac area! (stuffing is really not an easy job!)

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22. 仕上げに、形を整えます!丸く仕上げるのがコツ!)The shape is coming along fine, we’re almost there! (The trick is to get a round shape!)

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picture23. 形が整ったら、厚紙をホッチキスでとめていきます!ちなみに、この厚紙は、ラップの空き箱!)After stuffing it in the correct shape, use cardbord and staples to hold it in place! (btw, the cardboard used here was from an empty cling film box!)
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picture24. 皮に付いているおがくずを洗い流します!次に、全てのひれに、ダンボール紙をホッチキスでとめます!Wash off any sawdust clinging to the skin! Then, staple cardbord pieces onto all the fins to keep it in position!
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picture25. 胸びれの開いている所を釘・押しピンでとめます!(乾くと奇麗に仕上がります!とめてもとめなくてもどちらでもOK!)Around the pectoral fins, use pins or nails to close any openings and keeping it in position! (When it’s dry, it’ll have a beautiful finish! Whether you choose to keep it in place or not, either is OK!)
26. 背中を閉じてしまいたい場合は、裁縫用の針と糸でおがくずを入れたままで縫い合わせます!If you want to close the back up, use a thread and needle and sew the back up with the sawdust still inside!
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picture27. 写真のように輪ゴムを尾っぽと厚紙に、引っ掛けて尾っぽを反らします!As shown in the picture, stretch a rubber band around the tail and cardboard to curve the tail up!
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picture28. 形がくずれない状態!ひれが乾燥したらダンボール紙を外します! It’s staying in shape! When the fins are dry, remove cardboard!
29. 例:厚紙に布を付けて、帽子に! Example: cover and attach the cardboard with a piece of cloth and…it’s a hat! (looks like a fez to me)
30. 例:厚紙を2/3切り、はちまきを付けて板前風に! Example: cut 2/3 off the cardboard, add a はちまき (headband) and…chefcook style!
31. ニスを塗って完全に乾燥させてから、おがくずを取り出します!Finish with varnish and let dry, then take out sawdust!
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picture完成ふぐちょうちん!The finished fugu lantern!
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pictureAnd that’s how it’s made folks!
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12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2010 11:36 am

    Looks like a bird and a fish fused together at the end… Would not try to do this, but it turns out pretty nice in the end anyhow :)

  2. Stefan permalink
    May 22, 2010 5:29 am

    well… umm… dam puffer fish you astound me.

  3. May 23, 2010 12:14 am

    Goodlord… now I know why they developed the ability the excrete poison… to stop jackasses from pulling out their intestines, flipping their eyes inside out and filling them up with saw dust…

    Why not just go to wall mart…?

  4. アヤナ permalink
    May 23, 2010 2:04 am

    すごいい!!!!!!!

  5. tenzinkhoo permalink
    May 23, 2010 2:31 pm

    Though I aspire to promote cultural crafts from Japan for my business, this one is definitely out!! Haha… そのかわいそう魚はもう死んだのに。。。

    • May 25, 2010 9:12 am

      Are you really sure? You don’t want to stack a couple thousand of fugu lanterns? だよね、超かわいそう!

  6. June 7, 2010 10:09 pm

    Amazing! I will stick with origami ≥^!^≤

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