all it sushi philanthropy: At 2012's inaugural tuna auction in Tokyo's famed Tsukiji market, Japanese sushi magnate Kiyoshi Kimura paid an "eye-popping" $736,000 for a giant bluefish tuna — then sold it to his disaster-ravaged compatriots at a steep loss. "It is not just about the money," said Hiroshi Umehara, a spokesman for Kimura's Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain. "It is also about the Japanese spirit." After a year of earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, and economic contraction, "Japan needs to hang in there," Kimura added. Here's a look at this very expensive, patriotic "boost of umami morale," by the numbers:
Record-breaking price paid for the Japanese-caught bluefin (56.49 million yen)
The mammoth fish's weight, in pounds
Price per pound, also a Tsukiji record
Previous record price for a tuna, sold to a Hong Kong restaurateur at Tsukiji's first auction of 2011
Average price of tuna sold during Tsukiji's first-of-the-year auctions, over 15 years
Number of pieces into which Kimura's $736,000 tuna was cut for sushi
Price each choice piece of fatty "o-toro" bluefin sushi can typically fetch in Tokyo
Price at which Kimuru would have to sell each piece of bluefin sushi to break even
Price at which his restaurant chain Sushi-Zanmai sold each piece
Kimura's estimated financial loss from the bluefin
Percentage of the world's bluefin that Japan consumes
Per capita amount of fish the Japanese eat each year, in pounds
Global average per capita amount of fish consumed each year, in pounds
Number of visitors who trek to the vast Tsukiji market at 4 a.m. each day to watch the tuna auction
Number of football fields that could fit inside Tsukiji
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Attack of the invasive species
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- These stunning travel photos remind us that we're all just amateurs with iPhones
Subscribe to the Week