Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture is a center of Fugu trading. It is called fugu or fuku.
Fugu (literally "river pig") is the Japanese word for pufferfish and the dish prepared from it. Fugu can be lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin; therefore, it must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat. The restaurant preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by the law in Japan and several other countries, and only chefs who have qualified through rigorous training are allowed to deal with the fish. However, the domestic preparation occasionally leads to accidental death. Fugu is served as sashimi and chirinabe. Some consider the liver the tastiest part but it is also the most poisonous, and serving the fugu liver in restaurants was banned in Japan in 1984. Fugu has become one of the most celebrated and notorious dishes in Japanese cuisine.
The inhabitants of Japan have eaten fugu for centuries. Fugu bones have been found in several shell mounds, called kaizuka, from the Jomon-era that date back more than 2,300 years. The Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1868) prohibited the consumption of fugu in Edo and its area of influence. It became common again as the power of the shogunate weakened. In western regions of Japan, where the government's influence was weaker and fugu was easier to get, various cooking methods were developed to safely eat them. During the Meiji-era (1867–1912), fugu was again banned in many areas. Shunpanro in Shimonoseki was a first restaurant got permission for cooking fugu in 1888. Fugu is also the only food officially forbidden to the Emperor of Japan, for his safety.