Soft-shelled turtle (suppon)
When the early 20th century food critic Kenjiro Kinoshita wrote that Oita soft-shell turtles were exceptional in flavor, he brought this food to national attention in Japan. His nephew, Oita governor Kaoru Kinoshita, directed that the Inland Fisheries Research Center be built in Ajimu-machi (now part of Usa City). As a result of aquaculture research there, a method of heating fishponds in winter using natural hot spring water was developed.
Oita is one of Japan’s leading soft-shell turtle producing regions, both in quantity and quality. It has long been known that eating soft-shell turtle helps alleviate fatigue and stress; recently, it has been embraced by women as a “beauty food” because it contains so much collagen.