Japanese love their tuna!
Earlier this week, it was reported that a gigantic bluefin tuna was auctioned at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo for a record 32.49 million yen (or 396K US smackers)!
Without stealing too much more from the original article, I’d like to add that one of the two sushi businesses that bought up the 754-lb maguro was Kyubey, which was named as CNN’s 2010 Tokyo’s Best Eats.
Is this a profitable move by Kyubey (and its fellow bidder, Itamae of Hong Kong), or is it more about prestige?
Buying up half of that monstrous fish could potentially pay off big time if the fellows at Kyubey do their math right and if the demand is there.
On the other hand, it could have been a publicity move to attract more attention to Kyubey, which already enjoys success as a popular Ginza sushi shop. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it appear on a wacky Japanese variety show on TV. Another reason why it might have been more about fame rather than fortune, is that a sushi shop that only sells ohtoro sushi is a soon-to-be broke sushi shop — ohtoro and other pricey sushi items cost big to procure and take more time to sell than other cheaper and more frequently consumed items (that sell quickly). Nonetheless, I feel it was smart to do so as this story will (has already) circulate among sushi lovers both in Japan and outside, attracting customers new and old.