Junichi Satoh and the Tsukiji Fish Market
Junichi Satoh (Critic, Architcture) and restrauteur Masahiro Inui hosted Gabriel Feld (Professor, Architecture) , Peter Taguiri (Professor, Architecture) and five RISD students this summer in Tokyo to document and research Tokyo’s Tsukiji Central Metropolitan Wholesale Fish Market.
The Tsukiji Market is the biggest fish market in the world. Its first iteration was established during the Edo period (early 17th century) when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu invited fishermen from Osaka in order to provide fish for the Edo Castle. Fish not bought by the Castle was sold at the uogashi or fish quay, one of many specialized markets that lined the canals of Edo (as Tokyo was known until the 1870s).
The Market has been at the current location for 100 years. A couple of years ago, Tokyo’s city government announced its plan to move the Market to a new location. Despite the political and economic logic for the move, the announcement caused great uproar. During brainstorming sessions for designs for the new market Satoh and Inui realized that what’s really at stake is the Japanese tradition and art of eating and cooking.
For Satoh the real question is “not whether or not to move the market, but how to move this cultural phenomena. How does one relocate ‘culture’?” The research and documentation undertaken with Satoh’s RISD colleagues will help establish the right questions to inform the planning for the relocation.