Haiku Poem – 鯵(あじ)

bully of the sea
sharks tremble in fear
cold blank eyes

(Jim version)
くろいかげ さかな の はじゅん つめたい め

(Michiko version)
あじ くれば さめ も おびえる いじめっこ

Seeing the big Aji from either the submarine or when diving can be a breath taking experience. The Aji are the most aggressive and territorial fish in Hawaii. I have watched them many times attack a sleeping shark by biting the fins or the tail and they will circle turtles and I have watched many follow very close to even dolphins when they come near the submarine. In a few instances while scuba diving I have actually been rammed by one while diving on one of the shipwrecks because I may have been too close to where their eggs were. One of the interesting things about the fish is that when the Aji is hunting or fighting they will move their scales and turn black and then wait in the shadows for a fish to swim close to them. Even with a very strong current they will stay motionless in the water. Another interesting trait is their eyes. They are big black disks that show no emotion or even any sense of intelligence. Although they are eaten in many parts of the world, as a rule of thumb they are not eaten when they get big in Hawaii as they often have worms in their meat. I have caught them and filleted them and holding up the meat to a light it is very easy to see the worms. The biggest Aji that I have ever speared was about 20 kilo.


Collaborative Haiku Poem
– Jim Woodhull
– Japanese by Jim Woodhull and Nakamura Michiko
– Photo by Jim

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