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"If You Knew Sushi" ...

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If You Knew Sushi: Entertainment & Culture: vanityfair.com

"If You Knew Sushi

In search of the ultimate sushi experience, the author plunges into the frenzy of the world's biggest seafood market—Tokyo's Tsukiji, where a bluefin tuna can fetch more than $170,000 at auction—and discovers the artistry between ocean and plate, as well as some fishy surprises.

by Nick Tosches June 2007

 

It looks like a samurai sword, and it's almost as long as he is tall. His hands are on the hilt. He raises and steadies the blade.

 

Two apprentices help to guide it. Twelve years ago, when it was new, this knife was much longer, but the apprentices' daily hours of tending to it, of sharpening and polishing it, have reduced it greatly.

 

It was made by the house of Masahisa, sword-makers for centuries to the samurai of the Minamoto, the founders of the first shogunate. In the 1870s, when the power of the shoguns was broken and the swords of the samurai were outlawed, Masahisa began making these things, longer and more deadly than the samurai swords of old.

 

The little guy with the big knife is Tsunenori Iida. He speaks not as an individual but as an emanation, the present voice, of the generations whose blood flows in him and who held the long knife in lifetimes before him, just as he speaks of Masahisa as if he were the same Masahisa who wrought the first samurai sword, in the days of dark mist. Thus it is that he tells me he's been here since 1861, during the Tokugawa shogunate, when this city, Tokyo, was still called Edo.

 

Iida-san is the master of the house of Hicho, one of the oldest and most venerable of the nakaoroshi gyosha, intermediate wholesalers of tuna, or tuna middlemen, if you will."

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features.../06/sushi200706

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