The Hong Kong Fishing Industry during World War Two – on the trail of Amakusa Marine

David Bellis, Mike T, Hugh Farmer and Elizabeth Ride:

In 19 Queries & Answers: Amakusa Marine Products Industrial Company, 1942, HF wrote,  “By December 1942 around 18,000 Hong Kong Chinese fishermen were reported to be receiving instructions from the Amakusa Marine Products Industrial Company.” (Snow)

I said I could find nothing out about this company which if the above is correct was prominent in the HK fishing industry during the Japanese occupation, WW2.

David Bellis of noticed my 19 Q&A, researched Amakusa Co. and came up with the following:

First in the Hong Kong Fisheries Bulletin, Issues 1-4. David notes this is not fully viewable online, “By May  1942 however, the well known Japanese fishing company Nippon… [HF Nippon Kaiyu Toze Kaisha Ltd?].. but smaller, Japanese fish trading company, the Amakusa Suisan Kaisha Ltd., …also established in Hong Kong.
As David suggests a different version of  the Amakusa Marine Products Industrial Company.

Second a HKU Essay on the evolution of regulations in the HK Fishing Industry.
I have extracted the relevant paragraph from pp4+5. This says a “marketing organisation” was sponsored by the “Authority” formed by two Japanese fishing companies, a local fishing company and members of the wholesale dealer’s association. Footnote 7 explains these were:

a) Nippon Kaiyu Toze Kaisha Ltd (later changed to Ninami Nippo Nyonyo Kaisha Ltd)
b) Amakusa Suisan Kaisha Ltd
c) Hip Woh Fishing Co.

Amakusa Marine Products 1 ebook.lib.hkuAmakusa Marine Products 2 ebook.lib.hkuAmakusa Marine Products 3 ebook.lib.hku

Mike T has also done some digging: From David’s link, page 5 above, I note reference to Amakusa Suisan Kaisha Ltd. (天草水産会社; Amakusa Marine Company Ltd.) and Nippon Kaiyo Toze Kaisha Ltd aka Ninami Nippo Nyonyo Kaisha Ltd.

The former, I’m presuming is related to — or a variant translation of — Amakusa Marine Products Industrial.

Two companies called Amakusa Suisan (Amakusa Marine) seem to exist currently, in Amakusa and Osaka, Japan. No idea if they’re related.

Finally Elizabeth Ride found this BAAG KWIZ #78 report. She says the Japanese name for this Department is:

Marine Products Department- Elizabeth Ride

And wonders could the ‘Marine Products Department’ be the Japanese company you are looking for?


  • Snow, Philip, The Fall of Hong Kong: Britain, China and the Japanese Occupation, Yale University Press, 2003
  • Essay on the evolution of regulations in the HK Fishing Industry   only the first page is foggy, scroll down. Lawrence WC Lai & Ben T Yu, Dept of Real Estate and Construction, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Dec 1998
  • David Bellis’ information about The Amakusa Marine Products Industrial Company

HF: The photo used in this article is by Hedda Morrison and shows “landing baskets of assorted small fish from fishing boats in Aberdeen harbour, Hong Kong Island, 1946-47.” If you find any images of commercial fishing in HK during the Japanese Occupation please let me know.

This article was first posted on 28th July 2014.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Q+A19 Amakusa Marine Products Industrial Company, 1942
  2. Great South Fishing Industries (廣南漁業)
  3. No.1 Tai O Market Street 大澳街市街 – manufacture of oars and paddles for fishing boats



  • Dr KL MacPherson

    You may be interested in my article, ‘The History of Marine Science in Hong Kong (1841-1977)’ in Perspectives on Marine Environment Change in Hong Kong and Southern China, 1977-2001, Ed Brian Morton, HKU press, 2001.

    In the article I discuss the Japanese occupation, reorganisation of the fishing industry and postwar fishing.

  • Peter Cundall

    I can add a bit to the above. The largest Japanese fishing company pre-war was Nippon Suisan Kaisha (日本水産会社 or Japan Marine Products Co.). In March 1943 because of wartime reorganisation the company became Nippon Kaiyo Gyogyo Tosei (日本海洋漁業統制 Japan Ocean Fisheries Regulated). In February 1944 Nippon Kaiyo Gyogyo and at least 10 other companies established Minami Nippon Gyogyo Tosei (南日本漁業統制 Southern Japan Fisheries Regulated) based in Taiwan Sales Office with capital of 50 million yen of which 57% was subscribed by Nippon Kaiyo. It had operations in Hong Kong, Canton, Shantung, Hainan, Haiphong, Okinawa and Timor and as well as trawling undertook ice making, refrigeration and freezing and related sales.

    Amakusa Suisan Kaisha (天草水産会社 Amakusa Marine Products Co) appears to have been a subsidiary of Minami Nippon Kaiyo Gyogyo Tosei although it may have been created earlier as a subsidiary of Nippon Kaiyo Gyogyo and transferred on the creation of Minami Nippon Gyogyo.

    The footnote appearing above appears to be in error.

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