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:
MUST-WATCH VIDEO: And some tea to Room 13, please!
This beverage became so deeply ingrained in the life of humans that we sometimes even fail to notice putting a kettle on a stove. There are thousands ways of best-loved beverage brewing in the world. OUTLOOK offers the best of them to your attention.
Combs of Beauty
When Bahriddin’s mother was getting ready for work, she was assiduously arranging her hair around her tubeteika. It resulted in some sort of a crown. On holidays she plaited special adornments into her black hair with a tinge of blue. When she walked, they were tinkling slightly to create an aura of a dance. And in evenings little Bahriddin couldn’t fall asleep without holding her tight braid in his hands. Even now he recalls her long hair adoringly and believes them to be essential element of female beauty.
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
Ferris wheel goes round...
Except for Russian-speaking countries, nowhere else a round metal attraction is called a devil’s wheel. Named after its creator, Ferris wheel first opened panorama of Chicago city from 80-meter height in 1893. Since then rotating upright wheels with multiple passenger cabins began to spring up almost in every big city. OUTLOOK offers you to learn about the most impressive observation wheels.
Borders cannot make harm: the most famous enclaves of the world
Today Outlook travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
KALAMATA. THE HEROIC PAST AND OLIVE PRESENT
Ancient Greece began with Mycenae and Crete, and the country's new history starts its record with Kalamata. It was the city where Turkish shackles were dumped for the first time, thus making way for independence. Kalamata is a place with its own temper. Within less than 200 years, it was rebuilt twice, and both times revival followed.
The travel to whale’s chaps
Even being adults, sometimes we are able to bring to life the children’s fantasies, see the stories from childish dreams, and embody what has seemed to be the fairytale. Have you ever dreamt of being in the whale’s chaps? Just imagine that you were swollen by the giant fish, and you were living there for a long time, looked at it inside, settled down there, swam and dived there?
Montserrat: Visiting Angels
Should we have a look at notes of those who plan their trips to Spain, next to the darling of all hearts, Barcelona, Montserrat is bound to rank second. Also, the mountain of the abbey is a must-visit spot for local dwellers, too – they believe it necessary to visit Catalonia’s religious heart at least once a year.
YOUR BREAKFAST, SIR! HOW PEOPLE START THEIR DAY AROUND THE WORLD
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning, whether you need some vegetables, or even some extra litres of water!
THORNY PATH OF FLOWER
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips.
THE GHOST BRUSH OF MISS HOKUSAI
The eccentric elder Katsushika Hokusai was the real star of the Edo period, the creative genius and the brutal debtor of the half of his city. He used at least 30 names, changed 93 houses and created a lot of prints, drawings and paintings. His internationally recognized print The Great Wave off Kanagawa is mesmerizing. But only a few people know that this block printing, as well as many other works, was created by Hokusai with assistance of his daughter - artist Katsushika Ōi, lost in time and overshadowed by her genius father crazy about art.
We Were There: America through the Eyes of a Ukrainian
Context manager Bohdan Yanchev undertook a long-term journey to the United States. He spend six months there and not just visited large cities like Miami, New York and Washington but also worked in different positions, made numerous acquaintances with locals and visited places that ordinary tourists know nothing about. Upon his return he told us about his brightest impressions.
KARAKOL. WHAT IS WORTH TO KNOW
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.
Video: Craft of Uzbekistan. Golden-stitched embroidery
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we'll tell you about art of golden-stitched embroidery: about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
Inti Raymi: let’s meet sun along with Peruvians
Today in our Peruvian series is a narration about the colorful and coloristic celebration of a winter conjunction which history has been lasting from the times of the Incas Empire.
We have been there: underground aesthetics and recovery
The creative copywriter Masha Goldman travel around half a planet. The girl can compare travels with the useful drug. Masha tells that every trip, even the shortest and least far gives her complete renewal of powers and it seems that the new life begins. Certainly, every new city gives her specific accomplishment. Today she shared with us the ‘raisins’ of Hungarian capital, particularly, what is worth seeing there, what should be compulsory done and what has to be eaten, for sure!
Nan Madol: A City over an Abyss
Only an abandoned artificial archipelago with traces of extinct civilizations can better than a deserted island! Cadent splash of oars that plows blue dreams of the Pacific Ocean quells drumroll of ecstasy in your temples while preparing will and mind to the meeting with the greatest mystery of Micronesia. Nan Madol lies empty for more than one hundred years; mighty walls are gnawed away by sea salt but even in thrall of oblivion the forbidden city doesn’t lose its greatness.
In Odessa there were Lithuania Days and business forum dedicated to travel potential of the country
From the 14-th till 18-th of June in Odessa in the course of the traditional Lithuania Days it was business forum dedicated to the travel potential of Lithuania and opening of Lithuanian fair ‘Kazyukas’.
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and plants do not reach out people remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
The spouse of Ambassador of India made a meeting Ambassadors Spouses Club and demonstration of national clothes
The spouse of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Ukraine Anamica Bharti organized a meeting of the club of ambassadors wives Ambassadors Spouses Club in the course of which it was a display of traditional Indian clothes and friendly dinner.
Close
Outlook facebook page