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Shishamo by ayustety in Tsukiji.jpg
Edible grilled shishamo
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Osmeriformes
Family: Osmeridae
Genus: Spirinchus
Species: S. lanceolatus
Binomial name
Spirinchus lanceolatus
(Hikita, 1913)

Shishamo (柳葉魚, literally "Willow Leaf Fish"), or Spirinchus lanceolatus, is a saltwater fish (smelt) about 15 centimeters in length. It is slim and resembles a willow leaf; the Japanese name, shishamo, is derived from the Ainu name for the same fish, susam, which is supposed to be derived from a compound of Ainu susu "willow" + ham "leaf", hence its name in Chinese characters (jukujikun, where the characters have no phonetic relation to the word).[1][2][3] It is generally dark on the back with a silver-white underside.

In Japanese cuisine, this fish is grilled or fried whole and served with its roe intact.


  1. ^ "第22話 北海道にしかいない魚「シシャモ」". 地方独立行政法人北海道立総合研究機構. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  2. ^ "アイヌ伝説 神からの贈りもの【ししゃも】". APNA食品図鑑. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  3. ^ "鵡川ししゃも「楊の葉に命を与えたのは神様」". 北海道むかわ町. Retrieved 2016-02-09.