A Limited Edition from the “Land of the Emishi (Shrimp, or Lobster, People)”: A Catch Worth Pursuing

In the opening address of the Fourth International Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management, 1993, Jiro Kittaka uttered these words: “The people who inhabited northeast Japan one thousand years ago were called ‘Emishi,’ which means lobster or shrimp. This was probably due to their red and rough faces resembling the appearance of spiny lobster, and because they dwelled in caves in the mountain [sic], reminiscent of the submarine ‘Pueblo Village’ of the American lobster. If they time-traveled here today, they might be very excited to see so many people gathered to discuss spiny and clawed lobsters.”*

No doubt the “Shrimp People” label was meant to be disparaging and serve propagandistic purposes, but with at least one of us here at dinkingjapan.org making his obeisances to King Crab, Lord Lobster, and Prince Prawn on a regular basis, no offense would be taken if the term were applied to him. It is hard to say how this long extinct people would react to the state of present-day Tohoku, their former homeland, but it is safe to say that if they had tastebuds—and there is no reason to think that they did not—they would be greatly impressed with Hachinohe Shuzo’s (八戸酒造) Ura Mutsu Hassen (裏・陸奥八仙), limited-edition brew. It may be hard to find, but take out your lobster traps, and try your best to snag this one.

Ura Mutsu Hassen is a junmai daiginjo with an abv of 16%. The hanaomoi rice strain, which is from Aomori Prefecture, is used to produce this 50% seimaibuai masterpiece of sophisticated sweetness both on the palate and the nose, which can best be described as sugary. This is the perfect pick-me-up for the down-days of the rainy season.

For those readers wanting to delve deeper into the topic of crustaceans, we recommend you watch—only once mind you!!!—that stupefying schlock classic Teenagers from Outer Space, where the teenagers are all pushing middle age and the horror that these astral rascals unleash on an unsuspecting Earth is a giant lobster, undoubtedly the most delicious monster to have ever graced the screen. The intrepid can view the whole film at Internet Archive. The link is here: https://archive.org/details/teenagers_from_outerspace. Those seeking a truncated but more intense experience can start at 1:10. As it is summer, it appears to have been filmed in the month of Thermidor.  

*Crustaceana, Vol. 68, No. 2, “Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management,” 1993 (March 1995).

Hachinohe Brewery: https://mutsu8000.com/

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