Drinking Sake Like a Fish

There are a lot of strange customs, things and people in Japan, but this one is really odd: forcing a fish to drink sake.

The fish were the drinkers in a strange ceremony dating back to the Edo Period in which lively carp are made to consume a large dose of sake as they symbolically take on people's calamities. After drinking the sake, the fish are released into a river. [...]

Filled up with sake, the carp at first turned belly-up on the surface of the water. But they soon recovered and swam off.

Link - via Spluch

After studying the culture for the past five years and now even living in Japan, reading about these sorts of things no longer surprise me. In fact, I'd be *more* surprised if something "odd" weren't always going on around here...

...But that makes it somewhat appealing to me. :)
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They also immerse live fish they're going to cook in alcohol too – at least they did on Iron Chef America. It was actually a little disturbing, because the fish didn't look happy about it. The announcer said that it usually isn't so violent, but I didn't believe him for a second.
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I don't recall the context, but the JAPANLAND book & DVD mention another Japanese festival where HORSES are forced to get drunk on sake....must take a bit more than the fish.
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They're really nice to their beef though. They're fed rice and sake, and they get massages all the time. Happy cows make for the finest beef in the world.
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Funny how some people think it's cruel.

Am I the only one that thinks they are extremely nice by giving a fish sake? I mean, how often will a fish get to drink sake?
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