2013 Tsukiji Market Record Tuna by Numbers

2013 222 kg Oma Maguro2013 Hon-Maguro Tuna sold at Tsukiji Auction

photo by Ken Banwell

This fresh tuna is a hon-maguro from Ohma in Aomori prefecture in the northern part of Japan. Ohma hon-maguro is considered by many to be the very best specimen of tuna in the world. It was sold on Saturday, January 5th, 2013, the first day that Tsukiji Market was open in the new year.

  • sold for 155,400,000 JPY or roughly $1.76 million US Dollars
  • this year’s tuna weighed 222 kg.
  • last year’s tuna sold for 56,490,000 JPY
  • last year’s tuna weighed 269 kg.
  • last year’s tuna was 210,000 JPY per kg.
  • this year’s tuna was 700,000 JPY per kg.
  • Yes, this year’s tuna was 3 times the price of last year’s record selling tuna
  • the tuna was caught by a 36-year old fisherman, Takeuchi-san on December 29, 2012
  • his father caught the tuna that was sold at a record price at Tsukiji Market 12 years ago
  • it is the first time a father and son have both caught the record winning tuna on the first day of the new year
  • Takeuchi-san will receive $1.37 million US Dollars after the wholesaler takes it’s cut
  • his wife asked for a new washing machine and backpacks for their three kids
  • this year’s record winning tuna was purchased by Kimura-san of Sushi Zanmai
  • Sushi Zanmai is a restaurant chain with 48 stores in Japan
  • Here is the link to the Sushi Zanmai site with photos of the tuna at the store.
  • at the price the tuna was bought, one piece of sushi should cost 40-50,000 JPY
  • but, a piece of oo-toro from this fish was selling for only 398 JPY at the store
  • On Jan. 5th at Tsukiji Market, there was 654 fresh tuna at the auction.
  • On Jan 5th at Tsukiji Market, there were only 4 fresh hon-maguro from Ohma.
  • The other three sold for about 28,000 – 43,000 JPY per kg.

The tuna auction is off limits to visitors from Dec. 1 to Jan. 21st. This photo was taken by New Zealander Ken Banwell who is a tuna importer. Ken is one of very few non-Japanese who was at the auction on the morning of January 5th, 2013. Ken graciously shared this photo with us.

Ken is the author of a beautiful photo book on Tsukiji Market, The Fish Market. The Fish Market is available at the bookstore at Tsukiji Market Yokocho bookstore and online at this link. The book documents the auction and is all the more valuable as the market is scheduled to move to Toyosu in March of 2015.

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