RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Write  >  Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 2 “Fish Day”

Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 2 “Fish Day”

Author: 07.11.2014 | Japan, traditions, travel
It is just as hard to imagine a Japanese who doesn’t eat fish as to picture a Scott who doesn’t drink whiskey. OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko will tell you about a unique place where successors of samurai purchase fine seafood for their tables.

Takagi-san woke me and my cameraman Sasha at about 3 a.m. A can of a cold drink, rice cookie and sleepy us were getting into a car of a Japanese to head towards Pacific Ocean. It was chilly, the sky was overcast; the road to Tsukiji Wholesale Market was awaiting us. It is a unique place where world-famous tuna auction gets under way every day, even before sunrise. Tuna is for sale both fresh and frozen, in portions and of one piece. Fish is sold here to be transferred to best restaurants of Japan, companies that produce food products and large retail chains.

However Tsukiji is not famous for this alone: daily over two tonsof all seafood kinds that a person can only get in global ocean, is bought and sold here. Daily commodity turnover at Tsukiji constitutes about three billion yen (about 36 million dollars). About 60 persons are employed at the market. So it turns out to be some sort of small town where everything is fresh and relatively cheap. Truth be told, entrance to Tsukiji isn’t that cheap. Takagi-san paid for me and Sahsa and although he was modestly covering the money with his hand I noticed that our trip cost a hospitable Japanese some fifty or sixty thousand yen (about 6000 hryvnyas). That’s how our fish day began.

There was a labyrinth of counters. And a feverish fuss. Salesmen , buyers and carriers were scurrying before everybody else’s eyes every single moment, they were moving in a rhythm of their own that looked like a techno dance. It is really hard to maneuver among them. Sasha and I were eyeing each other now and again not to get lost as well as we were looking around not to get under wheels of trucks and trolleys. We came to a full-up dock where fish and shellfish were being packed. 

Our eyes first rested on exotic snakes that were still moving beneath overwrapping, then stumbled over on octopus rings and crustaceans covered in cracked ice, kept coming across lobsters, shells and scallops.

Everyone was shouting loudly, cutting something, cleaning and eviscerating, weighing, packing, laughing and offering a try. “But half of goods here are still alive!” – I exclaimed on seeing a head being cut off a still flapping fish that resembled a sturgeon. “Indeed, - winked Takagi-san proudly. – On the upside, here everything is fresh and helminthes-free”, – the Japanese added. I held on to Sasha’s jacket firmly. He gave me a push forward. We were being late for the launch of tuna trading session.

There weren’t that many traders. It all resembled an exchange with own dealers, brokers and jobbers. They were walking fussily among carcasses and screaming their bids. Some were approaching a fish to start singing. Louder and louder. Nearby another salesman would start with lower tones to try and ‘outsing’ the first one while offering own goods. Buyers were crowding and shouting bids. A bell would ring and a bloodcurdling shriek “Sold!” would sound victoriously. And everything would start over again. Every leviathan tuna sold here cost at least ten to fifteen thousand dollars. It depended on size and age of a sea animal.

Fishes were being sold like hotcakes. Excited by the spectacle and ruckus of people around I felt like taking a master shot but the whole dock, where the auction was taking place, wouldn’t fit into a picture. I climbed empty trays that were standing by my side. One of them tilted traitorously and I fell on a yellowfin tuna someone had just purchased.

In merely fifteen minutes everything was sold out. Buyers, pleased with their purchases, were carrying their acquisitions in various directions, trolleys were heading away and salesmen got silent. Sunwasrising. We felt like grabbing a bite. Takagi-san suggested going to a fish restaurant and have something that was fished out last night for breakfast. Sushi, sashimi, tempura. Baked in dough and cheese as well as rolled in nori, seafood equally smoothly melted in our mouths. Sasha moved marinated vagetables and vinegar closer to me and advised to generously pour it over delicacies in case Takagi-san was wrong about helminthes. There was also a nice green rose laid out on a tray nearby vinegar so I scooped it immodestly with a piece of sashimi. That was the first time I tried wasabi. I hated Takagi-san and Sasha back then. The first one was laughing openly while watching tears running form my eyes, the second one was delicately smirking and drowning a slice of ginger in soy sauce. “Jerks”, - I gasped and started drinking air like that stuck eel that I saw in the market previously in the day. I felt sorry for myself, then I felt very sad and then… Takagi-san rushed to buy my two cups of strong brewed coffee and sweet rice balls mochi so I can say that my fish day had quite a good conclusion.

It will be interesting:
Crafts of Uzbekistan. Straw Items
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we tell you about art of straw work, about materials that craftsmen use and what secrets and unique features of this craft are. Feel the world with us!
Iguazu Falls - Niagara Has Room for Improvement!
5 tons of water fall off into the ravine every single moment, roaring, raising steam and disseminating spatter in all directions. ‘Liquid wall’ of Iguazu Falls extends its crescent on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Colorful paradise: how Japanese people see the aesthetics of beauty
Japan is the country where people are loyal towards the traditions. The colorful scale did not make an exception – on the contrary, in the worldview of Japanese people it acquired almost divine origination. ‘The color of morning sky’, ‘the depth of night heaven’, ‘the shades after the sunrise’ – in such a way Japanese people called colors that they observed outside. The word ‘color’ became a sort of description of a beloved person. Perhaps, in the colorful intonations of color the most gentle and beautiful feelings concentrated. Today OUTLOOK will tell what the symbolic of flowers in Japan is based on.
To the Cinema for a City Tour
Travelling around the globe lure increasingly every other year and it is so upsetting when all kinds of obstacles arise on the way of undertaking trips. Outlook offers you not to get desperate if you can’t set on a journey. Today we suggest you get inspired with movies in which one city or another “plays” equal part to actors’ ones. We’ll tell you about five films that, alongside having artistic merits, educate as good as habitual tour guides do.
The Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine along with Kyiv city head and Rector of Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchanko planted sakuras in Kyiv
On the 11-th April, 2017 the Embassy of Japan to Ukraine planted in Kyiv sakuras. The event happened in Botanic garden named after academic O.V. Fomim, Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko with the participation of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Shigeki Sumi and rector of Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko Leonid Guberskyy as well as near National Opera of Ukraine involving Kyiv city head Vitaliy Klichko.
"Goat-dragging"
“To drag a goat with one’s hands” is a national entertainment of Tajik men however it enjoys huge popularity around Central Asia in the whole. As a rule a couple dozens, sometimes as many as a hundred, skilled and nimble horse riders gather to drag the goat. There is such a throng during the event that people fall off their horses, lose consciousness and even get maimed. Although the players attempt at protecting their legs and heads, hurts and bruises are commonplace for them anyway.
The Embassy of Japan will plant more than one thousand sakura in twenty cities of Ukraine
This year it will have been 25 years since the moment of establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ukraine. The events in the course of celebration of ‘Japan’s year in Ukraine’ have already been organized actively. As the sakura is the symbol of Japan, the Embassy starts campaign on the tree-planting of sakura along all the territory of Ukraine so as to give to majority of Ukrainians the possibility to savor its beauty.
Nihongami: Topknot as a Sign of Status
Nihongami is a certain way to arrange hair in Japanese tradition. Interestingly, in the Land of the Rising Sun hairdos were legally controlled and served as some sort of dress code for ladies of different social statuses and classes. Therefore, each class had strictly determined corresponding outfit and hairstyle and those laws are still obeyed by geishas and their apprentices.
VIDEO: OUTLOOK SHOW. Fashion of the Nation
Folk costume is one of traditional cultural symbols. Diverstiry of colors, adornment elements and decoration styles reflect inimitble nature of every nation. Ukrainians managed to get acquianted with distinctive features of traditional fashion thank to OUTLOOK Project, Institute of Interational Relations and Development Fund of the Institute of Internatinal Relations as well as 22 embassies of foreign states accredited in Ukraine. Today we suggest you enjoy a video, in which different cultures, traditions and history entertwined in a single dance....
OUTLOOK Project will hold show of national costumes of the world with input from foreign embassies
OUTLOOK Project that operates in the sphere of culture diplomacy will hold a show of national costumes of peoples the world OUTLOOK SHOW. Fashion of the Nation. Over 20 embassies to Ukraine will present best looks from traditional costumes of their countries in the show.
VIDEO: Crafts of Uzbekistan. Amazing product pumpkin
When talking about bottle, they mean a pumpkin. When thinking about a musical instrument rubab, they recall a pumpkin. When buying a chandelier, they consider a pumpkin as an option. When looking at the cage for parrots, they again refer to a pumpkin. This field vegetable in Uzbekistan has different designations and not only in the form of porridge. Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan OUTLOOK poschastlyvylos pobыvat radushnoy within this country and poznakomytsya with udyvytelnыmy mestnыmy crafts
Road to Asia is paved with carpets
Carpets hang on walls as a symbol of wealth, lay on floors to create coziness and are presented as expensive gifts. Studying fancy pictures in the shapes of diamonds and stars on them attempting to figure out their meaning is a fairly amusing thing to do. Globally spread carpeting traditions were borrowed from eastern peoples who were the first to learn how to make yarn and fabric out of fibrous materials. Specimens preserved in museums and private collections as well as researches of historians and archeologists testify to the existence of this craft in ages thousands years ago.
ESKIMO IGLOO: IT IS AS EASY AS PIE TO BUILD CASTLES IN... SNOW
A little son came to his father and suggested to run away from mom and granny to the North Pole? Now, do not indulge into tragic speeches of severe frosts, pitch darkness of the polar night and hungry polar bears! Give a conspiracy wink to a little brave one, and give him a real man's job for his school winter holidays that is to learn how to build an igloo, night shelter in ever-frost lands.
Christmas Eve and What’s to Follow
Christmas arrives with a warm overjacket on its shoulders. At night it brings warm light of the first evening star and in the morning it wakes you up with shine of white but warm sun. If my great-grandmonther’s grandmother had been asked about her Christmas feelings, I believe, her words would have been identical to mine. Because together with a bowl of kutia, generations of Ukrainians transfer their traditions from hand to hand.
Maculele: dance to make the sparks fly
When the first emigrants from Africa came to Brazil, they brought rousing actions in the country that had been living upon the principle ‘Life is a carnival’. As the citizens of Africa explained, dance maculele appeared in the environment where slaves had to protect themselves from the encroachment of their owners. That is why representatives of nation mastered sticks and knives provided that the weapon was hold in the arms even during the dances…
A Trip to Transylvania: Intriguing Places of Romania
A visit to picturesque Transylvania is akin to mystic extravaganza that takes place in reality. But laymen rarely know for sure what to visit in Romania aside from the famous Bran Castle, residence of Count Dracula. OUTLOOK solves the problem and offers an opportunity to personally choose an exciting route – its history may not just surprise but also stir your blood. For your attention here come TOP-5 most amazing and mysterious places in Romania that you must see with your own eyes.
WEDDING TRADITIONS OF THE WORLD: FROM GEESE TO LASSO
Stealing the bride's shoe in the midst of the celebration, and to require unimaginable redemption from the groom, is an interesting action for which it is worth to go to the wedding party. This is not the only wedding tradition of country, by which the legal wedlock of two hearts acquires a special flavour. What are interesting rituals of different parts of our planet? We leave for the honeymoon in search of the most original and unusual traditions of the peoples of the world!
VIDEO: GLASS FROM THE HOLY TOWN
Hebron is well known for being the city of 3 [three] religions and 3 [three] civilizations, a real place of power. Perhaps that is why by twist of fate there emerged glass which looks fragile, but is centuries old, the same as Hebron.
Tasty Japan: Give the Country a Try
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes. Parts of people’s souls, its history and culture are actually concentrated in national dainties.
LOST ISLAND OF YAP. THE LAND OF BIG MONEY
How can you understand the nature of finance, if there is no desire to go deep into the jungle of science? It is better to see once, than to read a hundred times: a trip to the island of Yap in Micronesia replaces the entire university course of monetary theory. Yap roads are lined up with giant doughnut-shaped, carved disks the size of a millstone - rampant inflation has made the world biggest money into fun for tourists.
Close
Outlook facebook page