Tomari’s Shell Songs 泊貝がら節

2014.05.19 (Mon)


Over a number of decades from the early 19th through to the early 20th century, the oceans around Tomari would produce huge scallop harvests, each time making the area’s ports very prosperous. The 1834 harvest in particular was recorded in the Tottori clan journal, which also noted the spontaneously-arising work songs of the time. These songs of bravery tell of the harshness of the work and the joys of the big scallop harvest which, combined with their mournful melody, sets them apart from the well-known shell songs of the nearby Hamamura area.




  1. Interesting! The Sea of Japan coast along Tottori tends to have a lot of tales of the hardships of fishing, but I’m not aware of very specific stories and songs like this.

    I got invited to join the Writing Process Blog Tour, and I’d like to feature your blog on it! ^_^ According to the instructions, I would need a 90 word bio/blog intro by May 25, and then you’d need to answer four questions about your writing process on a June 2 post. You can email me at cir.brittany.partin AT gmail.com for details.

  2. Any recordings? Would be interesting to hear the songs.

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