This was a morning atmosphere in the famous Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. Even though the area inside the Tsukiji Market had been teared down and all the fish traders/merchants had been relocated to a new and more modern market in Toyosu, the outer part of Tsukuji Market was still intact. The stalls of all the merchants which generally were selling food from sea products were like a left over piece from all the memories of Tsukiji market. This outer area was still busy with visitors from local people and tourists, especially foreign tourists who were enjoying Tokyo.
Like the common sounds of announcements from traders in Japanese markets, in this recording you could also hear traders offering their goods to visitors: irashaimasee dozoo! ( welcome, please stop by ) , and other sentences. The sounds were loud, and it came from various directions. Furthermore, you could also hear people conversing non-stop like bees buzzing. A sea of people packed the whole area. This morning, signs of life of the society could be seen in the area outside of the Tsukiji Market. On my left and right were various food from sea products like sushi, different kinds of skewers, and other kind of foods that invited my taste buds.
The sounds in this market as if it were bringing back the historical narration about Tokyo city in the era before the Tokugawa Shogunate, a small fishermen village. Tokyo at the time was still called Edo. The culture of fish market had already developed in the Edo era. History recorded that in 1590 Tokugawa Ieayasu brought a number of fishermen from Osaka to Edo in order to provide food for the castle. The leftover fish that weren’t bought by the castle was then sold to an area near the Nihonbashi bridge, in a market named uogashi, which meant fish pier/center. Starting from this Tokugawa Shogunate, Edo then developed into a town/city. Then in 1868 when the shogunate era ended and transitioned to the Meiji era, the name Edo changes into Tokyo. The Nihonbashi fish market kept on developing ad survived until 1923 when a huge earthquake Kanto destroyed Tokyo, including the market’s complex. The Tokyo government then build the Tsukiji Market which was officially opened on 11th February 1935.
After World War II, Tokyo kept developing at a fast rate toward urban life and modernity. Even though the inside of Tsukiji market had been relocated since 2018, the leftover sound pieces from the Tsukiji market had become an identity ‘record’ and part of the soul of Tokyo that was once a small fishermen village.