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Former good article Fugu was one of the Natural sciences good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 16, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
January 5, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Stability of Tetrodotoxin (TTX)[edit]

In the article, it is stated that TTX "is very stable". As someone who works with TTX in a scientific setting, I can confirm that TTX is not stable, and a solution (1 micromole per litre), loses a lot of its activity overnight at 4 degrees celsius. While not a perfect example, this article shows that TTX breaks down overnight in artificial sea water Kobayashi T, Nagashima Y, Kimura B, Fujii T (2004). "Mechanism of the decrease of tetrodotoxin activity in modified seawater medium". Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi. 45 (2): 76–80. PMID 15272604. . I can not find any references to TTX temperature sensitivity either.Bilz0r 02:55, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


I came to this article from an article on pufferfishes, it said that the toxin is not inherent to the pufferfish but the result of it being exposed to a bacteria whose toxin the pufferfish is immune to... Thus there are two roads I can't understand why they've not been tread on and I'm not scientist to go on to them but I understand enough of science to question why could others with more knowledge overlook these facts: 1.Pufferfishes grown in aquariums with no exposure to the bacteria do not haev any toxin to worry about; reared pufferfishes could provide toxic-less fugu. 2.Pufferfishes are immune to the toxin, i.e. something in their system could provide an antidote or similiar solution to the toxin... This is all. Since I'm no expert I place this in the talk page but I do guess that the answer is pertinent for the articleHerle King 12:36, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Pufferfish do indeed acquire their toxicity from their food, either bacteria or algae depending on the toxin (there are two, roughly speaking saxotoxin in freshwater puffers and tetrodotoxin in marine puffers). Aquarium or farm-reared pufferfish would indeed be toxin-free, but the farming process is still very primitive at the moment. Almost all pufferfish used in food and aquaria are wild-caught. I am sure in a few years they will farm pufferfish just as they farm salmon, but right now, it is not so. I have no idea how pufferfish store the toxin, but lots of toxic animals must do the same thing (e.g. sea slugs, lionfish, monarch butterflies) so presumably there isn't any great trick to it. Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 22:36, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
"People die every year from eating bad Fugu but these crazy eaters still eat it as a delicacy. They say it's fun when they feel the tingling sensation on their tongue and fingers from the traces of the poison." Japanese saying: "People who eat fugu are crazy. People who don't eat fugu are crazy." Wouldn't eating fugu without the toxin be like drinking a cocktail without the alchohol? Healthier, but what's the point?
John Harvey, Wizened Web Wizard Wannabe, Talk to me! 21:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

according to[edit]

According to the Sushi-eating HOWTO, fugu is only legal in New York. (Can anybody confirm this? I was in San Francisco recently, and the itamae confirmed that it was illegal in California, IIRC.)

The S-E-H also contains some helpful tips, if you're interested in eating fugu. I don't know how accurate they are, but they provide more detail than this article does, and he certainly knows more than me.

The Japanese article on "fugu" uses the term フグ (from which we get fugu) more broadly to refer to the Tetraodontidae family as a whole. A-giau 05:13, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yosa Buson's haiku[edit]

I cannot see her tonight.
I have to give her up
So I will eat fugu.

Does anyone know what the Japanese text of Yosa Buson's haiku is? I've been unable to find it anywhere. --Yu Ninjie 06:33, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

I believe this is it, but I don't have the means to translate it right now, so don't hold me to it when it turns out to be something else!

逢はぬ恋 思切夜や ふぐと汁 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


The traditional cry upon discovery of someone swallowing poison is a hearty, "Ur-Ru!".

Pardon the pun, but this seems fishy to me. Can anyone confirm? —Keenan Pepper 00:36, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Now that you mention it... yes, quite fishy. I removed it. -- Chris 73 | Talk 06:16, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Wade Davis[edit]

Born in Canada, educated at Harvard, and a citizen of Canada, USA, Ireland. I'm changing "Wade Davis, an American botanist," to "ethnobotanist Wade Davis". --AidanBC 02:59, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

This paragraph on Wade Davis' claims about creating zombies with the toxin ttx is an unsupported, unverifiable hypothesis at best but perhaps just fiction. It has no place in an authoritative article about the inherent risks in eating this delicacy, and so I am deleting it. Perhaps someone else will argue that it belongs in the popular culture or social aspects section. Amasa walker III (talk) 20:48, 23 January 2009 (UTC)


We really need to focus on one separate page for the genus Takifugu, another separate page for the genus Fugu, and a separate page for the Japanese delicasy.--Mr Fink 16:57, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps. Isn't there only one species in the genus Fugu, though? Monotypic genera and their species usually share the same article. I can see how splitting out the stuff about preparing and eating fugu might be advantageous, though, in which case the main article about the fish should have a good summary section linking to the article about the dish. —Keenan Pepper 17:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The formerly featured article pufferfish was already split and the fugu section moved here. I oppose any further splits, the eating of fugu and the article about the fish belong together. -- Chris 73 | Talk 20:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you have to admit the current article is pretty well-organized, and not too long. —Keenan Pepper 21:06, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


Fugu poison can be made into a powerful painkiller. [1] Perhaps someone could add this to the article. Calicore 04:17, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

toxicity, taste, and cost[edit]

I am not an expert on this but I have eaten fugu and I think some of the claims here could be modified slightly. First, the claim that toxicity is the reason people enjoy fugu is overblown. While it is certainly true that the toxicity gives it some of its mystique, it is unfair to claim that its low flavor (some would say its flavor is "delicate" rather than nonexistent) means that the only reason it is enjoyed is some kind of death wish. The fish also leaves the person who eats it with a pleasant tingling sensation on the lips and tongue and there is a feeling of light-headedness that accompanies fugu consumption (not unlike the effect of alcohol or other drugs). When I first tried fugu I mistook the feeling for a sake buzz until I recalled that I had consumed only water with the meal. It is likely that this feeling (admittedly a byproduct of its toxicity) is responsible for more fugu consumption than any death wish. Second, the claim that it is expensive needs modification too -- the prices listed seem relatively accurate, but I was able to find several fugu appetizer dishes at a fugu restaurant in Osaka a couple of years ago (likely the chain mentioned in the article) for well under 2000 yen (and even some under 1000). Have prices changed that much?--csloat 09:16, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Many pufferfish species are not toxic, and cheap fugu is not torafugu. It's the lethal varieties that are expensive. Jpatokal (talk) 04:15, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't think you need a license anymore, even to serve the 'toxic' kinds (and I believe most species have the toxin). Also, you can buy Fugu sashimi in most supermarkets now, though I don't know if that type has any toxin. Anyway, yeah, only 7 people have died in the last decade or so, and none of those were from eating in a restaurant. (talk) 22:21, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Fugu in Mediterranean sea..[edit]

In Turkish Mediterrain Sea shores, amateur fishermens reported many fugu catch events. Anglers says: "On every fishing event, we are catch five or more fugu" But, many angling people, don't know toxic specs for this fish and eat it. In local language, this fish identified as "Balon balığı" (Balloon fish) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:00, 13 December 2006 (UTC).

Death by fugu[edit]

Terrible shame there's no category for those who've died from fugu. Could be an entertaining, if not informative, way of categorizing people. We can start with Bandō Mitsugorō VIII... Shall I create said category? LordAmeth 18:50, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Sounds cool. Not sure how many notable people died from it, though. -- Chris 73 | Talk 18:57, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, probably should have looked into that before I started this thread. A Google search within Wikipedia yields only Bando Mitsugoro, who I mentioned, and Chairman Kaga, who's fictional. Oh well. LordAmeth 21:33, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Split off Takifugu material[edit]

The article as it stood was covering two different topics, and as can be seen from the discussion page it's common for people to use "fugu" for pufferfish that most certainly are not Takifugu (e.g., "fugu in the Mediterranean"). I've moved biology of the fish plus things like lists of species to a Takifugu page. The fugu-as-food page can contain stuff about the dish, which, as the article itself mentions, can be made from at least three genera of pufferfish and one genus of porcupinefish. So combining the two was wrong. Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 10:59, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Note on the fish portal[edit]

"Takifugu" (the old article before the splitting) was voted and selected to appear on the fish portal as the "selected fish of the month" for January 2007. Then "fugu" (the Japanese cuisine article that split from the old article) was voted and selected to appear on the fish portal as the "selected article of the month" for May 2007. --Melanochromis 14:52, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

"fugu in popular culture" section?[edit]

why doesn't this page link to the simpson's ep about fugu? lots of pages have an "in popular culture" section, and i'm sure that the simpsons are far from the only occurance of fugu in pop culture.

Because the "pop culture" section as it previously existed contained far too many totally non-notable and irrelevant references. These kinds of things can very quickly get out of hand... I'd be curious if you can explain how "fugu" is notable to the Simpsons franchise as a whole, outside of that one episode, or how a reference in that episode is notable and relevant to the concept of 'fugu' as a whole. LordAmeth 08:12, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I think it's one thing if the item has had a profound effect on popular culture. Like "Spam" for example, which started off as food, but has become a slang term used just as often for junk mail as for chopped meat. But if you simply want to cite every silly little example of something used on TV, where do you draw the line? Should an article on Humans have a list of Simpsons episodes featuring human characters? Should an article on Beer include mentions of every episode where Homer drank a can of Duff beer? Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 09:57, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
The Simpsons episode is what introduced most North American people to what fugu is. The episode is also referenced in an article in New York Magazine called "To Die For" By Adam Platt as a reason the main know of the fish's existence as a delicacy and a danger to eat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

'location' of article[edit]

I appreciate that it is useful to give the price in Yen with American dollar-equivalent (at the time) in brackets after. But to attribute a statistic to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry made me look at the url to see if this was a Japan-Wiki site. A few paragraphs later mention was made of voodoo and zombies without specifying where this occurs. I think it would be useful to specify 'Japanese Ministry' (if that is the case) and locate the voodoo and zombie stuff. 00:00, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Delist[edit]

Symbol unsupport vote.svg In order to uphold the quality of Wikipedia:Good articles, all articles listed as Good articles are being reviewed against the GA criteria as part of the GA project quality task force. While all the hard work that has gone into this article is appreciated, unfortunately, as of January 5,

2008, this article fails to satisfy the criteria, as detailed below. For that reason, the article has been delisted from WP:GA. However, if improvements are made bringing the article up to standards, the article may be nominated at WP:GAN. If you feel this decision has been made in error, you may seek remediation at WP:GAR.

  • The lead is too short. About one sentence per section would be great.
  • No inline cites under Toxicity, Consumption, Social Aspects, and Fugu in Popular Culture
  • Several {{Fact}} tags - their very presence would mean a "quick-fail" if at GAN.

Cheers, Corvus coronoides talk 14:47, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

POV Tag Discussion[edit]

I added the POV template. The article has "The popularity of fugu in Japan is an interesting phenomenon" ('interesting' is qualitative), "is by most people considered to have a very weak taste" ('most people' is weasel words, no citation), "it seems one of the attractions of the low-flavored fish is the risk of potential death, regardless of how low that actual likelihood stands in a commercial restaurant" (this is obviously an opinion), "fugu connoisseurs love the taste and the texture of the fugu" (again), "Therefore, only specially licensed chefs are allowed to prepare and sell fugu to the public, and the consumption of the liver and ovaries is forbidden" (no citation, blatantly Japan-centric, "forbidden" instead of "illegal" might be POV) and many others. If you wish to refute the template placement, please do so here before deleting it. Thanks (talk) 15:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Just noticed the super-duper POV sentence: "It can be assumed that the fish would be much less popular if it were not so poisonous." (talk) 15:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the language identified above as conflicting with NPOV, along with some other text. Does anyone object to me removing the POV template? - Walkiped (T | C) 23:38, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Other Countries[edit]

Only the US, Japan, and Korea are listed as places to find Fugu. Do other countries serve this? (talk) 18:36, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Hard data on fugu poisoning in Japan[edit]

Here's some hard data on fugu poisonings and deaths in Japan in the last decade. It's in Japanese, but the first table shows incidents throughout the country (columns: year, # of incidents, # of people poisoned, # of people dead), while the second shows cases in Tokyo alone (columns: year, # of people who ate the fish, # of people poisoned, # of people dead, type of fish, cause of poisoning). To summarize, an average of 40-odd cases throughout the country, with 50-odd people poisoned and 0-6 deaths per year -- way less than the common claims of "hundreds of people dead every year". Jpatokal (talk) 04:10, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Incidentally, that data translates to a 6.8% fatality rate, in contradiction of the uncited claim that it's lethal in 50-80% of cases. Jpatokal (talk) 05:35, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

This article talk page was automatically added with {{WikiProject Food and drink}} banner as it falls under Category:Food or one of its subcategories. If you find this addition an error, Kindly undo the changes and update the inappropriate categories if needed. The bot was instructed to tagg these articles upon consenus from WikiProject Food and drink. You can find the related request for tagging here . Maximum and careful attention was done to avoid any wrongly tagging any categories , but mistakes may happen... If you have concerns , please inform on the project talk page -- TinucherianBot (talk) 21:25, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

What does "could not" mean here, exactly???[edit]

The section on Fugu poisoning includes this passage:

"One of the most famous victims was the Kabuki actor and "living national treasure" Bandō Mitsugorō VIII who requested four servings of fugu liver and, in 1975, died after eating them. The fugu chef of the restaurant could not refuse the request from such a prestigious artist. Subsequently, the chef lost his license for breaking the law."

What exactly does "could not" mean here? If no one can elaborate on this, then this passage should be removed, because as it is currently phrased it makes no sense.Daqu (talk) 22:04, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Probably one of these ridiculous codes of honour that the Japanese enjoy so much......Cls14 (talk) 20:06, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Why do they eat this?[edit]

Nature has always driven humans to find food that is the most practical, and then least dangerous and most nutritional in value. This is a violation of this general rule. There is no information about 'why' people had the desire to try and eat this fish; what is the reasons behind it and why was it started as a practice? Unlike what someone above claimed, it cannot be because it makes people feel pleasent (like drinking a lot of beer does), because toxin does not cross the blood brain barrier. Is it a social dare, which gives people some sort of high status if they dare eat it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I agree; I'd like a little more information on this aspect of the food. Aside from csloat's comment above, there is nothing about the taste in the article. Is it really so good that people want to risk death to eat it? I tried to do a little online search about the cultural aspects, but it is so subjective that I think the POV would suffer. Grumpy otter (talk) 15:40, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
"They say it's fun when they feel the tingling sensation on their tongue and fingers from the traces of the poison. I think it's crazy and would personally never eat it," says ASK_Story, aka Mishima Zaibatsu.[2] I think it is somewhat analogous to people drinking alcoholic beverages.
John Harvey, Wizened Web Wizard Wannabe, Talk to me! 12:15, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikiproject Fishes[edit]

Removing tag associating this article with Wikiproject Fishes. "WikiProject Fishes aims to help organise our rapidly growing collection of articles about fish taxa. Issues outside the scope of this WikiProject include fishkeeping (fish aquarium topics), fishing, fisheries, fish cuisine topics, fish farm topics, fish market topics, fish processing topics, fish product sales topics, fish products topics, and fish trap topics." [direct cut and paste from project main page]. This article does not fall within the scope of that wikiproject. Neil916 (Talk) 07:53, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Emperor and royal family prohibited[edit]

I read in a less-than-100%-reliable book (ie. "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader") that the Japanese Royal family is "forbidden" from eating fugu. Does anyone know anything about this? Manning (talk) 02:57, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Fugu Genetics[edit]

I noticed that the Further Reading section of the article has a couple of references to Fugu genetics, but why isn't the topic mentioned in the main body of the article itself? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Fugu. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Edits of this date[edit]

Two observations.

  • There is significant scientific text without citations for stated "facts".
  • Some stated but unsourced "facts" have been found to contradict sources that do appear (see edit immediately prior to placement of "Expert" tag).

For this reason, sections have been labeled for their need of citations, and a call has been put out for experts to make this article encyclopedic.

Finally, in working on this today, I added a primary research article that at least states some of the things said at the opening of the "Toxin" section (from a total synthesis paper's introduction). This is admittedly not ideal, but it is better than having no citations other than the NYT in this chemical/toxicologic opening section.

Le Prof (talk) 02:50, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

I have removed some of the tags you added to keep the article somewhat clean and legible. Having *nine* tags in a two-paragraph section is too much. Or three tags in a single-sentence bullet point. Please read WP:TAGBOMB. -- turdastalk 00:03, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

About the popular "30 people" claim[edit]

Can this fish really kill 30 people with its toxin or is that just a urban legend? (talk) 17:53, 24 January 2017 (UTC)