Heart-shaped Kamaboko Make Splash with Messages

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Saimon Kamaboko Hoten employee makes heart-shaped kamaboko in Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City.

FUKUOKA — Heart-shaped kamaboko — traditional Japanese fish sausage — is produced at a high pace in Saimon Kamaboko Honten in Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City, ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Each of the items is about 8 centimeters by 8 centimeters and about 1.5 centimeters thick, and golden threadfin bream, the taste of which is elegant, is used to make them.

The product bears messages such as, “Don’t get beaten by the novel coronavirus,” and “Take care of yourself.”

About 50 variations of similar messages appear on these kamaboko products.

As the number of events has dramatically fallen off in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, the kamaboko maker’s sales have plunged to less than half.

“Precisely because people have fewer opportunities to meet up with others, I hope they will give gifts that convey their feelings,” said Sayo Noda, 38, chief of the manufacturer’s production factory.

One piece of the special kamaboko is priced at ¥500, including tax. Those who order in advance can select their favorite messages to appear on the items.