Tskiji Market is one of the oldest and oldest fish markets in Tokyo, and the average daily sales of traders in it reach a value of 14 thousand euros, and it has more than ten thousand workers, but despite what the market means to many – especially traders and investors – it will be moved to another place, against his will. Their noses, as the organizers of the Olympic Games claimed that they owned the land in central Tokyo.
Under the title “Tskiji Market: The New Beginning”, the documentary Al-Jazeera broadcast a film that tells the story of merchants and ordinary people grieving over the bulldozing of this ancient part of Tokyo.
Light and finger tests.. tuna auction
Merchants are distressed because within a few days they have to move to a new airport-like building. This “Hiroki Fujita”, one of the most famous market merchants, starts his day at three o’clock in the morning, commemorates his deceased father who taught him this trade, then begins his work by inspecting the orders that he received from the most famous Tokyo restaurants, as well as the weather conditions on the coast of Japan.
Hiroki says: I check the wind and waves at the ports, if the ships don’t get there we won’t get the fresh tuna, and I’ll have to start earlier after changing the location of the market, because the distance will increase a little.
Fujita leaves his luxury apartment for a tuna auction, where he’s going to have a busy day, but will he find a tuna that meets his high standards?
Fujita and its merchant competitors are allowed to look at the fish and test the hand only. The use of cameras is permitted provided that no manual signals are received from the subscribers, and no external party should see the merchant’s purchasing power.
Thousands of auctioneers have known each other for many years, but frozen tuna is not what attracts Fujita’s customers. He invests in a non-public auction of fresh fish, and waits weeks for a day like this, where tuna is sold at good prices, regardless of the stock price, and it may be sold. Some tuna fish in amounts as high as millions of euros.
Merchants use the light and finger test to find out the quality of their tuna. Fujita says: I use it to find out how fat the fish is, and to better see how much fat is there, and each one does the matter in a different way. First, I look at the overall shape of the fish, then at the skin and its thickness, as well as the smell of the fish, and there is something that others do not pay attention to, but I will not I tell you about it. Then he escapes with his secret, hiding behind a yellow laugh.
In tuna auction, it is allowed to be checked by hand and light to ensure its quality
“Things are no longer that simple.” The Tokyo municipality turns the scales
“Fujita” got tired until he reached Tskiji market after his parents’ company nearly went bankrupt, although they devoted their lives to it, but he got up the company and made it more famous, and he narrates that when he was young he woke up and found no one at home, but he found his clothes ready, and he drinks Milk goes to school alone, and he feels very lonely.
Failure and success were associated with all the families whose names were written in the Tsukiji market, whether sellers of tuna and herring, or Hokkaido crab and squid, or any other type of seafood, and in recent weeks, they were all affected by the decision of the Tokyo municipality to change the market location, and they were all against it, including Trader Kazunori Kumakawa who trades in various types of seafood. He says: When the city issued the decision, I was against it. I do not want to leave the place. Those who made the decision are the political and administrative officials, and there are huge profits that will be reaped.
Kumakawa, the father, also helps with the store business, although in his mid-80s, he tidies the sea urchin guts for customers and is sad about the change of location. He comments on the controversy by saying: I lost confidence with many in my days, we used to work a lot and then earn in return, but things are no longer that simple, we strive more than we earn, and in the end we will continue to work hard.
“Kumakawa” inherited the business from his father and says that his work is based on the good reputation and the short distance between customers and the market, as well as the family atmosphere in Tskiji, it is a place full of memories, and customers come from all over the world, and the new place is like an airport, but in Kumakawa’s view Rigid, and he does not like it at all.
Popular protests against moving the market in favor of building a site for the Athletics Olympiad
“I do not like to see people crying.” The farewell and nostalgic rituals
The merchants objected to the new location due to the poisoning occurring in the gas station, which caused a delay that lasted for two years, and the planning committees made sure that tourists are not allowed to see the ongoing works except through some windows. “In the new location, there are not enough places for customers to park their cars,” Fujita says.
He adds: The space will not be enough either, in addition to the unnecessary expenses that we incurred, as well as postponing the delivery date as nothing is certain, and we have to use less water to maintain more cleanliness, but how can we clean without water.
It is not only fishmongers who feel nervous, there are also retailers who do not have the money to move to the new location, and among them is the owner of the cafe “Kenzo Suzuki” whose cafe has been open for fifty years, and today he suffers in silence, with only a few days left before him He quit his job. Suzuki serves up egg, butter and jam toast, and runs every day as an hourly counter.
He says: Meals were not my idea at all, they came from customers, the customer asks for the shape of the slices he wants, and I remember all that, and before daylight comes the cafe is filled with customers, and they all come regularly. I’ll get out of here before the last day, because I don’t like seeing people cry.