In a chilly dimly lit auction hall, licensed male buyers wander through lots of Tuna inspecting the prize catch before the world-renowned auction commences at dawn this Friday morning.
An incision by the snap frozen creature’s tail reveals a cross-section of meat analogous to the bands on a topographical map; they assist the buyer to gauge the coveted creature’s intrinsic value.
Equipped with hand torch, hooked truncheon & writing implements, the dealers quietly make note before the imminent exchange – forecast by the punctuated alarm of the Auction Master’s handbell to the room’s hushed tone.
Tsukiji – the world’s biggest wholesale fish & seafood market – is situated in central Tokyo & beyond the auction rooms some 900 licensed wholesalers operate small stalls & processing operations, where most of the butchery & distribution take place.
Some of the seafood is transported to local restaurants in small mechanised carts, even more is transported further nationally, in large vehicles like the famed ‘Dekotora’ Art trucks seen later here.