The woman in this photo was a fishmonger at the Shuixian Temple Market in Tainan. Most of the cutting boards you see in Taiwan are round, but the cutting board this woman was using was unusually square.
The woman was holding a kitchen knife in her right hand and was using it to press the edge of the rice eel skin onto the cutting board. With her left hand, she was gripping the other side of the skin tightly, pulling the skin with all her might. It was as if she was trying to peel the skin off.
In Japan, eels are often nailed to the head of the eel to prevent it from moving, but I didn't see any rice eels being cut in this way here in Taiwan. Other people cutting rice eels in the same Shuixian Temple Market didn't use nails either. I guess they don't have such a custom.
The rice eel looks like an eel, but it is a different animal. But like the eel, its skin seemed to be very elastic, and it was hard to cut it. The woman's mouth was twisted into a crooked shape as she pulled the skin with all her might. But the skin was not cut. It just stretched and stretched.
April 23, 2017
SONY ALPHA 7R II
SONNAR T* FE 55MM F1.8 ZA