Sawasdee magazine

I wrote a little story about Nagoya, its fish market, pottery and the wonderful hatcho miso. And it was all overshadowed by the pictures, taken by Simon Bond.

It’s early one Monday morning in Nagoya’s fish market. Just past 5 o’clock. The wholesalers began work an hour ago and the building is already damp with saltwater and blood. Trucks arrive with wriggling produce for the 50-odd stalls. Men are chopping, slicing, skewering and filleting, turning sea life into seafood. Some specialize in eels or tuna, others offer a miscellany of creatures.

I know the protocol from mornings spent in Tokyo’s Tsukiji market. This is a workplace; the traders will tolerate me if I’m light-footed and stay out of their way. So it’s a surprise when a man with an Elvis quiff beckons me over and suggests I might like to photograph his turtles. And again when a lady hands me a fistful of whitebait to taste. Another lady asks me to wait while she locates her most photogenic salmon, and a tuna carver spots my camera and switches from his small filleting knife to something I’d expect a samurai to use in battle. Welcome to Nagoya: the most unaffected city in Japan.