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

01/05/2016 at 01:53 PM ET

Tuna"
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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.)

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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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