“My employees were killed.” Owner of Japanese pond breaks down in tears after 3,000 fish die in theft

In a heartbreaking video, the owner says the financial damage “doesn’t matter at all” compared to the loss of life.

Kazunori Yamada Runs an indoor fishing pond called Tsuriburi Honpo in town Toki, Gifu Prefecture. When he arrived at the facility on Tuesday morning to get the venue ready to open for the day, he noticed Someone broke the interior window of the back door of the building and broke into the office.

Thieves stole a few thousand yen in cash (the equivalent of less than $100), along with the office’s wireless router and a hard drive containing data from the digital security camera system. In terms of burglaries, you could say Tsuribori Honpo didn’t lose much, but the loss of property pales in comparison to the emotional damage 48-year-old Yamada feels from the loss of life that occurred, such as And about 3000 fish that were in the pond died as a result of the intrusion. In addition to smashing the rear window, the thieves also cut the building’s power line, disabling the pond’s air pump and filtration system, and by the time Yamada showed up to work Tuesday morning, the fish was dead.

“For me, the fish was a company employee. My employees were killed,” said Yamada, who broke down in tears several times as he described the incident, as seen in the video below.

“For five years we have taken care of the fish, we have raised them, and now all I can say is that I don’t know what to do,” Yamada said, his throat choked with sadness and sympathy. “The money we lost and the property damage, frankly, doesn’t matter at all compared to it [the fish]. It hurts my heart so much that they were killed this way. This is very wrong.”

It may seem surprising that a fishing pond owner has so much interest in the welfare of the same fish that his company encourages customers to try fishing. Inland fishing ponds in Japan are rather unique, although they are not always stocked exclusively with edible fish. Tsuribori Honpo was home to goldfish, koi, and sturgeon. Of these three, sturgeon is the only one that primarily eats fish in Japan. Goldfish are never eaten in Japan, so if you see them in fishing establishments in Japan, it is usually with the idea that the customer will take home what they catch as a pet, and while eating koi fish is unheard of, their appearance is much more valuable than Their appearance and flavour, most Japanese would rather have koi fish in their garden than in their kitchen.


Even if the fish would eventually end up on the dinner plate, Japanese cultural values ​​still held that the animal’s life should be valued and treated with respect. This is, after all, a country where it is customary to say “itadakimasu”, or “I accept this with gratitude” before each meal, thanks not only to the one who prepared it, but also to the plants and animals whose life is about to nourish us. “Fishes are living creatures, I hope so [the thieves] They can understand the value of their life,” said Yamada.

▼ As further evidence of Yamada’s compassion, you can hear real joy and excitement in the video here as the staff discovers One fish managed to survive.

Yamada emphasizes that the loss of life is the real tragedy here, and the financial damage to the business is devastating. It is estimated that the value of the fish was in the range of five to six million yen (US$37,600 to US$45,100). The timing couldn’t be worse either, coming during the summer holiday season when kids and families come to fish and also after two years of tough economic times due to the pandemic. Business is currently closed, and Yamada says there is currently little prospect of being able to reopen, although sympathetic online commentators have discussed the possibility of creating a crowdfunding campaign to get Tsuribori Honpo back on its feet.

Location information
Tsuriburi Honpo
Address: Gifu-ken, Toki-shi, Hida Asano Asahimachi 1-4
1-4 Asano Asahi-cho, Hida, Toki City, Gifu . Prefecture
website

Sources: Tokai TV via Yahoo! Japan News via Hachima Kiko and Tsuribori Honpo
Top photo: Bakotasu
Insert pictures: package
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