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Tweet of the Week #131: Noto’s Giant Squid Statue Is Not Alone

Noto's giant squid statue is not the only tourist trap in Japan.

By 1 min read

A small coastal town in Ishikawa Prefecture, Noto, disturbed the wa (, peace) after unveiling its brand new tourist attraction, a giant statue of a flying squid. The figure is an homage to the city’s delicacy. While squid isn’t to everyone’s taste, the real controversy is that the town spent 25 million yen ($230,000) from their Covid-19 relief fund to erect the 9-meter long pink cephalopod.

The decision to focus on tourism when Japan still faces hardship during the pandemic provoked criticism, calling it a waste of money. The town hopes it’ll help revive post-Covid tourism. Whether it’ll work remains to be seen. Here’s a video of the giant calamari in all its glory.

If Noto had built their nearly six-ton flying squid at any other given time, nobody would have cared. After all, statues of sea creatures and local specialties are common in Japan. Every prefecture has one in a small town somewhere to attract tourists.

Japan Twitter shared a few of their favorites.

Attack of the sea monsters

能登のとのイカ

天草あまくさのタコ

志摩しまのエビ

紋別もんべつのカニ

“Noto’s Squid

Amakusa’s Octopus

Shima’s Lobster

Monbetsu’s Crab Claw”

Nakashibetsu’s scary salmon head


中標津なかしべつしゃけあたま

“The salmon head of Nakashibetsu (in Hokkaido).”

Ibaraki’s giant marlin

大洗おおあらいのカジキもおねがいします

“Please [share] the swordfish from Oarai (in Ibaraki) too.”

Tochigi’s weird dinosaur

栃木とちぎまぎわらわしいかたち恐竜きょうりゅう

Tochigi’s weirdly shaped dinosaur.”

Japanese vocabulary for sea creatures

Time to brush up your Japanese vocabulary and get some words going to talk about what’s living in the ocean.

Japanese Romaji English
イカ ika Squid
タコ tako Octopus
エビ ebi Shrimp, but also lobster
カニ kani Crab
shake Salmon
カジキ kajiki Swordfish
sakana Fish (general term)
貝殻 kaigara Seashell
kujira Wale
イルカ iruka Dolphin
サメ same Shark
クラゲ kurage Jellyfish
ヒトデ hitode Starfish

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