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Apr 26, 2019

Year 2018 - The finale of Tsukuji


I am not the kind of person who likes to feel nostalgic. Nonetheless, given how much we have lost in recent years, even a tiny dose of collective memory can now be an emotional trigger. Whenever I visit the present Tokyo, where Tsukiji market no longer exists, I am still not used to not having to wake up early and hurry to the market. Shoutings of “Hayozai!” from the mouths of Tsukiji locals made me scratch my head at first. It was only after a local explained to me that I understood it was a shortened lazy version of the standard “Ohayogozaimasu” for good morning.  Accustomed to making split-of-the-second decisions at auctions, Tsukiji locals are so direct and frank that even Japanese people find it unbearable.

The number of seafood wholesalers has dropped from more than one thousand during its prime era at Nihonbashi Uogashi to only more than six hundred at present. Since quite a large number of shops have switched to placing orders with calls or emails and because of the growth of home-cooking, the fish market has shrunk in scale. Bygone are the glorious days when the markets welcomed every dawn full of people. That Tsukuji has written its final chapter during the Heisei Era, perhaps, can be regarded as an honorable departure from the scene.


looking at the photos and reading articles. Each word and sentence conjures up images. An enthusiast of Japanese culture, I would like to leave a record of my own memories of the Heisei Era before the new one begins.

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