An old, not-quite-dead question about sushi and death

Eating dead live fish has long inspired some people to some speculation about some incidents. This is further speculation about one of those incidents:

shimodaBad Sushi or Bad Merchant? The ‘Dead Fish Poisoning Incident’ of 1852,” Hiraku Shimoda [pictured here], Modern Asian Studies, vol. 35, no. 3, July 2001, pp 513-531. The author, then at Harvard University, begins to explain thus:

“The strange affair began innocuously enough. In the summer of 1851, Zeniya Gohei, a prominent merchant in Kaga han, started a land reclamation project on Kahoku inlet, which lies about three miles northwest of Kanazawa upon the Sea of Japan. Early in the eighth month of 1852, a large number of dead fish floated to the surface of the inlet near the construction site. Within weeks, there were reports of several local residents who apparently died from having eaten the dead fish. In the ensuing flurry of accusations, speculations, and indictments Gohei and his family members were deemed responsible and imprisoned….”

BONUS (unrelated, and/but thanks to investigator Vaughn Tan for bringing this to our attention): “Dead Sushi”: