A bluefin tuna was sold for about 16.88 million yen (approximately $146K) at Tokyo’s annual New Year tuna auction in Japan.
The giant bluefin tuna
The 211 kgs. (approximately 465 lbs.) tuna was caught off Japan’s northern coast in the Aomori region. It was sold on Jan. 5 to Yukitaka Yamaguchi, the president of Yamayuki, a Japanese intermediary wholesaler and a Michelin-starred Onodera Group sushi restaurant, according to The Korea Times.
The first annual auction of the year is held at Tokyo’s largest fish market, where fish wholesalers make a tradition of participating in the event in hopes of bringing in good luck and gaining publicity.
Tokyo’s sushi enthusiasts
The top-prized tuna was later brought to a restaurant in Tokyo’s high-end Omotesando neighborhood, where it was publicly sliced and served to sushi enthusiasts who waited outside the restaurant for an expensive tuna lunch. The fish meat will also be sold to customers abroad, including in the U.S.
“I participated in the auction hoping to get the top-priced tuna, which is considered auspicious, and serve it to our customers to brighten their year ahead a little, even as our world remains marred by the pandemic,” the head chef of Yamayuki Akifumi Sakagami told AFP via The Korea Times.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, the highest price a bluefin tuna was auctioned off for was 333.6 million yen (approximately $2.9 million) by Kiyoshi Kimura in 2019. Kimura, the head of Kiyomura Corporation, is also known as Japan’s “Tuna King.”