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

Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 2 “Fish Day”

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:
Postcard: Batumi
Young Ukrainian writer Pavel Khomenskyi visited Batumi, the city smothered in greenery and shining bright, the one that local citizens call the city of love. Palm trees, cypresses, magnolias, oleanders, bamboos, laurels, orange trees, thujas and box trees exhale fragrances on every step there; they tempt you to go watch a romantic picture of ships sailing off harbors. And today the author shares with you his postcards from this amazing city, penetrated with murmur of the sea and taste of fragrant wine.
On the Road – Own Way
OUTLOOK cannot imagine life without travelling. However, tickets, schedules, tardiness – all those things can spoil any trip. Therefore it is great to have either at home or in you garage a kind of transport that can allow you to see and to experience something new and forget all the problems.
"All inclusive" and even more: amazing hotel service
Hotels that offer “all inclusive” for dogs. Hotels where adults are being lulled asleep by a fairytale or a unique place where work isn’t held in honor while laziness is encouraged. This is not a dream or a parallel reality – these are stalky hotel services…
Women's adornments in India: Sacred meaning
Upon hearing word combination “Hindu woman” an image of a beautiful woman wearing sari and definitely with numerous adornments and pictures on her body emerges in our imagination. Where does passion for body decoration come from in national traditions of this people?
This is a real service! Japanese taxi
The first thing every tourist shall learn in a country is a transport system. Very often it seems to be complicated and confusing, and it takes weeks or even months to make head or tail of it. OUTLOOK reader Natalia Usenko visited Japan and is sharing her impressions about the most comfortable and safest transport in the world.
On the Move. Street food from around the world. Part 2
Do you happen to get hungry? That is great as we go on with our story about the most popular street food from around the world. It’s freshly cooked - fall to, you guys! Let's start with the South Asian countries, namely Singapore - seafood-rich in vitamins and minerals occupy a key place in the diet of residents ...
Azerbaijan inside out: Henna Nights
We continue publishing author’s column of Sabina Safarova on traditions of Azerbaijan.We have already learned about the matchmaking and the engagement, and now OUTLOOK proposes to plunge into the traditions of rituals and xinayaxdi – henna nights ceremonies which precedes the wedding itself.
On the Move. Street food from around the world
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
Superflat: Concept of contemporary Japanese art
Anime admirers would never pass by contemporary Japanese art. Especially if this trend is directly related to manga comics. Artist Takashi Murakami was the first to think about how to dub an art that catches inspiration in every new anime, but speaks of eternal values, interlacing with the ethnic canvases of Western artists.
Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 1
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
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 that has long been considered the art of the nobility. We will tell you about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
Accompaying persons, please leave the train: the most interesting trains on planet
Despite ongoing development of air transport, many people across the Earth still love to travel by train for various reasons. Though the majority of passengers associate trains with a rather slow way to travel compared with airplanes, and are concerned with low comfort which can be still at the level of last century, reading through our selection below, you will definitely consider once again which means of transport you prefer to get to your destination.
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.
We were there: the USA 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.
We were there: Prague
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several winter days there and told us about Prague charms.
Saint-Louis: first settlement of europeans in Africa
This amazing African country strikes tourists by odd mixture of cultures. There isn’t a thing you cannot see in Senegal! Retro cars of French origin; cows idly walking along the road; horse-drawn carts... Yet, there are more than enough surprises it its historical and cultural capital city of Saint-Louis. Go for a walk in search of attractions, and local herbalists offering specific medical herbs as a cure-all remedy, will immediately surround you.
World ghettos. Bedford: English outback with Italian flavour
Today our story is about one of the most amazing combinations one can imagine, that is Italians and Englishmen, so we expand number of our articles dedicated to the ethnic ghettos of the world. Get ready to follow us to the cold and rainy Bedford, where we will plunge into the warm Mediterranean atmosphere.
SPECIAL PROJECT: The Ambassadors tell about New Year's and Christmas traditions
All over the world, winter brings bright celebrations to people's homes, the traditions of how to celebrate them are born. The customs of one state differes from the other but people from different corners of the planet are equally waiting for miracles, pleasant surprises and a good fairy tale. On the eve of the New Year holidays, we decided to ask the diplomats about the peculiarities of New Year and Christmas celebrations in their countries.
Tea empire of the world
Few of us, while our favourite tea is steeping, are scrutinizing about the way this drink went through to get into our mug. Of course, stereotypically, we know that most likely it came from India or China, but in fact origin can vary. In the world there are about 30 countries which are very seriously engaged in tea business, and within this community a very clear hierarchy emerges, headed by the so-called Big Tea Seven.
Indian village Kodhini: the unraveled mystery of twins
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
Close
Outlook facebook page