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Tokyo Fish Market
October 26, 2004

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It's pretty amazing, the number of fish they pull out of the sea every day. Tuna as big as men, octopi, squid, crabs, shrimp ... and something else, that looked like beef, until someone bumped the table and we saw that it jiggled like jello. The chart of "cetaceans" on the wall confirmed it.

And then there are the carts, like fork lifts with no forks. Good thing, too, since they whip around the tight alleyways and corners of the fish market in the dim pre-dawn light. At first, it looks like chaos, until you realize it's all orchestrated pretty well, the displays, the auctions, the transport. All except for the most recent layer: the dozens of clueless tourists wandering around a work zone at 5 in the morning. A few accidents will no doubt lead to the designation of a tourist zone, where we will see traditional fishermen cleaning their catch with bamboo and bone tools, while this symphony goes on behind a secure fence.