Tsukiji

  • Photography and Words  Max Barnett
Documenting Tsukiji fish market left me feeling elated. Mostly because it was a bustling and vibrant place to be at 6am, and partly because I managed to haul myself out of bed on the last day of my holiday at an ungodly hour.

After hearing the news that the ninety-year-old market is to be shut down and relocated further afield in Toyosu in order to house the 2020 Olympics, I knew that I would not get another chance to document one of Tokyo’s most famous spots.

The market didn’t open to the public until 10am, and the security workers there are strict, so no special allowance for me. I did however, manage to sneak in twice, and was able to take images of the market as it prepared for the day, and everything was still quiet.

Many of the workers were driving mini vehicles, called turret trucks, that look as though they were someone from the 70’s vision of millennium transportation. They whizzed back and forth on them, and weren’t shy about telling me off for getting in the way.

At Tsukiji I learnt fairly quickly that my usual mumbled request to take a portrait would not be enough. Smiles and gestures towards my camera seemed to work well, respect is important.

max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-09
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-diptych06-2
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-diptych02-3
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-13
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-diptych02
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-16
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-04
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-03
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-08
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-diptych05
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-15
max-barnett-tsukiji-pylot-17