How to Ikejime with "Shinkei-Jime Fish Spike Wire Tool Set"

Shinkei-Jime, the Art of Destroying Nerve to Extend Freshness

"Shinkei Jime" is the traditional fish killing method used in Japan to both kill and paralyze the fish, and preserve its fresh umami flavor.

How to Use

Put on thick gloves to prevent a live fish from getting burned by heat of hands.


Place a fish on sponge mat to avoid raging.

If fish moves violently:
A) It causes overheating and fish meat get bruised.
B) ATP will be exhausted very quickly.
C) pH of fish meat drops/becomes acidic.


Open a gill cover and sever the gill with scissors. At this time, the fish’s heart is still beating and it makes bleeding smooth. Even after cutting the blood vessel of a gill, the spinal cord is still alive and consuming ATP.


Use the skull penetration tube first, and then send the steel wire from the back of the tube. The wire is led to the neural canal automatically. Push and wiggle the wire toward tail to destroy the spinal cord entirely.

If you do not destroy the spinal cord, it will send electrical impulses mistakenly to muscles after about 30 minutes of severance. Impulses make dead fish rage and remaining blood seep into the tissue. Blood decreases transparency and increases fishy odor.


After death, biochemical reactions progressions in the body damage fish meat in a few minutes. To stop these reactions, put the fish into iced seawater immediately for 5 - 10 min to chill deep into the body. After chilling, keep the fish at 0 - 5 ℃ in a cooler box for producing “Umami”.

Detailed Instructions

1.     Stick the spike

Stick the spike into the brain between the eyes* and search for the nerve position.  You will know if the stick hit the nerve since the fish will respond to it. 

*Spiking point where the fish’s brain is will vary from species to species.   

2.     Insert the wire

Put the wire through the hole in the spike and penetrate the spinal cord straight on. 

During this process the fish will convulse – insert the wire slowly so as not to miss the spinal cord.

You can also use the spike as a venting tool!

Grip handle has a small hole to store the long wire compactly coiled. 

Put both the wire and grip handle into both ends of the attached plastic tube and let the wire go through the hollow in the spike.  Coil up the wire and put it through the small hole on the grip handle as seen in the diagram.  


Wire: Shape-memory stainless steel wire.  The wire surface is jaggy for effective destruction. 
Plastic tube: For safe storing.
Spike stick: The spike is a guide for smooth penetration of the wire into the nerve. 


Needle, wire: Stainless steel
Handle: Polystyrene
Plastic tube: Polypropylene


    Wire length: 80cm (~32 in)


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