This Is Why a Japanese Restaurateur Paid $118K for One Bluefin Tuna

01/05/2016 at 01:53 PM ET


It’s a lot for just one bluefin to live up to, but Kiyoshi Kimura loves his tuna.

The Tokyo restaurateur plunked down $118,000 at the city’s fabled Tsukiji Fish Market for an approximately 440-pound tuna early Tuesday. (That puts the price per pound at a hair above $265.)

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But that’s not a realistic assessment of the fish’s value: In Japan, “Foods made available for the first time during the year, including tuna, fruits and vegetables, [are] considered good luck” and “often fetch considerably more at auction than their market value,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

What’s more, Kimura has a history of doing this sort of thing. Last year, he paid a fairly scant $37,500 for a 400-pound tuna, but in 2013, he dropped a record-breaking $1.76 million for a 488-pound bluefin. (Or $3,606.56/lb.)

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain Sounds Off on New Book, Phony Food Feuds and … Pumpkin Spice?

Another reason for the high price jump between 2015 and 2016: This year is the last auction at Tsukiji’s current location. The famed site relocates in November to a much larger complex further south in the Toyosu district.

— Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl

FILED UNDER: Food , Food News

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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