"Cold as a fish" may be a common idiom used for people who don't show any emotions, but maybe it's time to reconsider. Fish can be quite expressive creatures. At least, that's the impression one gets from a new photo book published by Daiwa Shobo entitled "Uozura" うおづら (a hiragana version of what would normally be written with the kanji 魚面, meaning "fish face").

The brainchild of photographer Atsushi Morioka, "Uozura" is apparently the world's first photo book focusing on fish faces. According to the press release, Morioka came up with the idea when he noticed "surprisingly angry faces when he photographed some fish up close. The patterns above their eyes sometimes looked like eyebrows, and the scowl contrasted with their cute appearance. Some fish look like a 'certain someone' you've seen before, and even look like they want to talk to you." So, he began taking close-up photos of fish faces and posting them on social media, where the images quickly went viral.

Morioka kept about 150 fish in six aquariums at home. He searched for good-looking fish, brought them home, waited for the perfect moment when they were "in good spirits", and then snapped them in the best possible condition. He made it a point of only spending five minutes at most for each shot, or his fish models would get frazzled and no longer look good on camera.

And the results? Take a look at a few examples. Although the resolution of the images provided in the press release is less than ideal, they're good enough to give you an idea of what to expect:

Book information

  • Name (JP): 世界初の魚の顔図鑑 うおづら
  • Meaning: The world's first fish face photo book Uozura
  • Author: 森岡篤 Atsushi Morioka
  • On sale from August 21st, 2020
  • Publisher: Daiwa Shobo
  • Price: 1,600 JPY + tax
  • Page on publisher's website (w/ links to Amazon.co.jp and other online retailers)

Social Media links

By - Ben K.