The past couple years have seen some or all of the first tuna of the new year go to upscale restaurants overseas. Last year’s went to Hong Kong for a then record price of around Y32.49 million. This year, however, the head of Kiyomura Co., the Tokyo-based operator of sushi chain Sushi Zanmai, Kiyoshi Kimura was not going to let that happen. Kimura, who has participated in the auction in the past, made sure he won this year. His winning bid of a whopping Y56.49 million for the bluefin tuna, is more than Y20 million higher than the previous year’s.
After the March 11th earthquake, Kimura saw this as his opportunity to express national pride and while the pricey fish could retail for between Y1,000 and Y5,000 per slice, it will be available a local Sushi Zanmai restaurants for the base retail price of Y134 to Y418.
According to Kimura, “What’s caught in Japan ought to be eaten in Japan.”