The first tuna auction of 2019|Travelling Sushi Chef Yoshi Talks of “The Heart of Sushi”

Sushi chef Yoshi of Matsunozushi. His work place is all around the globe. “Sushi is not just a slice of fish on rice” Yoshi talks about his art.

Big event that starts off the New Year

Happy New Year. I hope 2019 will bring you much joy and happiness. The first tuna auction of 2019 was on January 5th at Toyosu market. The first tuna auction of the year has become, not only for the fishing industry but to many Japanese people, a much reported event that starts off the New Year. And lately because of the world wide interest in Japanese food, the whole world watches in wonder at the price tag on the tuna. Because the prices soar in the New Year, all the fish brokers at the market come to watch the show. Us sushi chefs are allowed on the floor to watch, but cannot bid. On this day, the press and tourists are not allowed to even view the event.

Only 10 seconds decides the price of the tuna

10 minutes before the auction starts, the tension on the floor becomes tight. Talking seems out of place. The price of the tuna can be decided on in 10 seconds. Everyone holds their breath. This year, the highest bid was on a 278kg blue fin tuna from Ohma in Aomori for a whopping 333million yen. (Roughly 3millionUSD) This was a record high. In Japan it has been believed that eating the first produce of the season brings longer life. (75days longer to be exact) There is a culture of paying a higher price to eat these foods. Although tuna can be eaten year round, people still believe eating the first fish of the New Year brings luck. 300million yen for one fish is a ridiculous price in my opinion! But recently a sushi restaurant chain has been bidding on the New Year auction and making headlines across the globe for their outrageous prices. When you think about it, maybe it is not too much to pay for advertising.

The fishing industry in Japan is steeped in history, but we are constantly moving with the times. How the cultural side and the business side of the fish industry evolves will be an interesting topic.

Yoshinori Tezuka

Yoshinori Tezuka

From an early age, Yoshi accompanied his father to the fish market and was acquainted with the various fish used in sushi. After graduating from Keio university faculty of business, with a year spent in Stanford University as an exchange student, Yoshi decided to leave the sushi world and Japan to experience the world and learn more about hospitality. He became a professional ski guide and guided tours at over 100 ski slopes around the globe and guided tours not only of skiing but world cruises and wineries. With his experience as a tour guide, Yoshi is committed to introducing Sushi and Japanese culture around the globe. His lecture “ Enjoy Sushi with Five Senses” is very popular.



3-31-14 Minamiooi Shinagawa Tokyo
11:30~13:30 (L.O.) 16:30~22:00(L.O.)
Sunday and Public Holidays

Text・Yoshinori Tezuka

更新: 2019年1月3日