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Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011

Rediscovered salmon feted by ice sculpture

Staff writer

An ice sculpture representing Kunimasu salmon, which had been believed to have gone extinct about 70 years ago but were found last month in Lake Saiko, Yamanashi Prefecture, is being sculpted in the Saiko Wild Birds Park near Mount Fuji.

News photo
Artistic license: With Mount Fuji towering in the distance, photographers take pictures of an ice sculpture representing a Kunimasu salmon in the process of being made at the Saiko Wild Birds Park in Fuji-Kawaguchi, Yamanashi Prefecture. KYODO PHOTO

The sculpture is being formed by pouring water onto a wooden Kunimasu-shaped frame. It will stand about 3 meters tall and measure 7 to 8 meters long, said Yoshihiko Miura, a tourism official in Fuji-Kawaguchi.

The sculpture is being created for the annual Saiko Juhyo (Ice on Trees) Festival that will run from this Saturday until Feb 6.

Visitors can enter the park and view the creation for free before the festival opens.

The festival will also have a sculpture representing Sakana-kun, as the fish expert who helped find the Kunimasu salmon is known, and other figures.

A sample of a Kunimasu salmon kept by Kyoto University will also be displayed in the park.

Lake Saiko is famous for its Himemasu trout.

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