Man pays US$1.8 million for… a fish
Japan’s ‘Tuna King’ has paid a royal ransom for a giant tuna at an auction at Tokyo’s fish market yesterday.
Kiyoshi Kimura, who runs a sushi restaurant chain – paid 193 million Yen (US$1.8-million) to purchase the 276-kilogramme Bluefin tuna, caught off the Aomori Coast in Northern Japan.
“This is the best,” Kimura told stunned onlookers after the pre-dawn auction.
“Yes, this is expensive, isn’t it? I want our customers to eat very tasty tuna this year too,” he said.
Kimura is a rather media-savvy restaurateur, often paying top price at auctions to make him – and his restaurant chain – big national news during the season.
In last year’s auction, Kimura shelled out more than US$3.1-million for a whopping 278-kilogramme tuna.
The New Year’s auction is held on the first Sunday of every new year in an area called Toyosu. Previously, it was held at the world-famous Tsukiji Market, which was closed down in 2018 due to overcrowding.
What makes some tuna more expensive than others?
The tuna you buy in a can versus blue fin tuna – like the one sold to Kimura – are actually two different fish. Canned tuna typically comes from albacore, which are small and grow fast. And they certainly don’t weigh 276-kilogrammes.
The only tuna that grows that big is Bluefin tuna. Thanks to its size and weight, Bluefin is the only fish that has intense marbling – or a good mixture of fat and flesh. It’s also one of the only fishes that can be aged properly, letting it develop different flavours.