Supply-Side Sushi: Commodity, Market, and the Global City


Supply-Side Sushi: Commodity, Market, and the Global City


The first article, titled “Supply-Side Sushi: Commodity, Market, and the Global City” touches upon the topic of sushi globalization. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna has been solely focused on Japanese consumption because there is no market for Bluefin Tuna in North American waters. Bluefin Tuna were considered trophy fish or something people caught on accident when out fishing. It was not until cargo planes were built that the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna population in New England was commercialized. Since the cargo planes could fly long distances non-stop, it became possible to deliver fresh fish to different sides of the world. Today, the market in Japan is enormous for fresh tuna for sushi and sashimi and Japan has influenced the demand in other countries for fresh fish as well. Another factor that increased the exploitation of tuna in Japan is that during the 1960’s, refrigeration and advances in trucking allowed all of Japan to visit Tokyo. The fresh fish market in Tokyo, called Tsukiji, was able to control the market for fresh fish. Things that people had done to fish to make it last such as pickling it or heavily salting gave way to fresh, simple tastes. This is much like the film, where Jiro prepares his sushi in the simplest way possible and it still gives off amazing flavor. Even though all of these advances in technology helped the market in Japan 50 years, it is starting to dangerously hurt the population of Tuna in both Japanese seas and North American seas due to the huge demand of Tuna in the Japanese market.


Theodore C. Bestor


American Anthropologist


Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association


Theodore C. Bestor, “Supply-Side Sushi: Commodity, Market, and the Global City,” Jiro Dreams of Sushi: Precise Art, accessed May 22, 2022,