Road to a sacred ritual.
According to tradition, even after relocating to a new space, the Tsukiji market held its first tuna auction of the year on January 1st. Almost a ceremony, where companies and sellers compete for the best fish for mind-blowing figures. This time, a 278kg bluefin tuna sold for $3.1 million to Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai, beating every record.
The news instantly reminded me of this photograph, among all the ones I shot at the old location of Tsukiji market, now dismantled.
There is a sense of sacredness in the cutting. And precision. Respect for the work as well as for the huge tuna laid on the working table that, with its own life, creates more life. Itâ€™s a gesture repeated multiple times a day, every day, without ever becoming banal.
We are used to taking everyday gestures for granted, caught up as we are in lifeâ€™s constant flux without letting ourselves stop for a moment and think. Not here. Every movement is calculated, measured. A ritual, just like the tuna auction at Tsukiji market that marks the beginning of the new year. The quality of the fish must be enhanced by the cut, and experienced hands always lead to a unique, neat, calibrated execution.
This is not a fish seller, but an artisan. Technology would turn him into a factory worker while his primary tools are his hands. This is the last fish to prepare, the day is almost over, but there is no rush in his gestures. Thereâ€™s a job to finish: all the rest, even life, can wait for just a bit longer, beyond the doors of the market.