TOKYO (TR) – The president of a chain of sushi shops has netted the first tuna up for auction for the year at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Chuo Ward, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Jan. 5).
On Thursday morning, Kiyoshi Kimura, whose Kiyomura Co. runs the Sushi Zanmai chain, paid 74.20 million yen for a 212-kilogram maguro tuna from Aomori Prefecture.
It was Kimura’s sixth-straight year of snagging the first fish on auction, a celebratory start to the New Year for the market, which is a popular destination for tourists. In 2013, his bid of 155.4 million yen for a 222-kilogram fish is the highest on record.
For this year, the final price represented 350,000 yen per kilogram of the fish, a figure five times over that of last year. Kimura, known as the “Tuna King,” conceded that the price “was a little high.”
“If there are no competitors, [the price per kilogram] will reach 20,000 yen or 30,000 yen. Everyone fought and the got higher,” said Kimura of this year’s auction.