The objective of this study was to demonstrate Japanese dietary customs surrounding the consumption of shark meat by comparing them with those related to the consumption of stingray, as well as by examining the preparation methods and the regions where these two fish are eaten in modern and post-modern times.
In modern times, shark meat was consumed primarily in the Tohoku region (northern Honshu), whereas the predominant areas of stingray consumption were the Chugoku region (western Honshu) and Shikoku Island. Although shark preparation methods have grown more diverse through the ages, raw or simmered shark remain the most popular cuisines. Conversely, stingray is typically eaten as a simmered dish. Thus, the cooking methods used for preparing these two types of fish slightly differ.
Since both fish contain urea, they can be preserved for a long duration. This, as well as the various forms of preparation available, and the fact that the fish can be eaten raw in mountainous areas, are the reasons for the continued tradition of consuming shark on special occasions.