How do you do? I beg your pardon but I'm talking to you.
You people who are stuck here in this tiny old Far East land.
Or maybe you are the proud ones who hate to learn.
What I'm going to write about is the fish business. In my
younger days, I wanted to be an author of a novel, but somehow
I entered the fish business. I managed my living there, hoping
to collect some material for a novel.
Beginning at the Tokyo Central Wholesale Market located
beside Tokyo Bay, I walked around places like Alaska, New
Foundland, Norway, China and Russia, dealing in fish. I've
seen supermarkets, wholesale markets, fish plants, canneries,
fishing boats and factory ships. I went through firms going
bankrupt and fishy business.
But, I wasn't able to write a novel at all. Besides that, I
began to feel upset about the whole existing fish business. l
came to a dream (or maybe I should call it a fantasy) to improve
The source of the dream (or fantasy), was romanticism:
such as those which lived in the heart of Yukio Mishima, a
Japanese author who died by harakiri (honourable suicide by
cutting one's own stomach with a sword), when he rose at the
Japanese Self Defence Forces headquarters in Tokyo; or those
which led the young people into a mass-hysteria of a radical
movement at the end of the 1960s, when I was still in high
Anyone has in his heart something that he feels honourable
about. Mishima and the students of the radical movement
were faithful to that feeling, I believe.
I also had something in my heart to feel honourable about.
The feeling was that a man's job was something sacred, no
matter what the job was; no matter if the job was something
that he really didn't want to do.
According to this, I had to stand up to straighten out the
world where my job existed, if it were wrong. The Japanese
fish business was exactly that kind of world that had to be
straightened out.
In worlds where people don't accept what is true, should
truth be called a fantasy?
I thought that I could express a brief picture of not only the
Japanese fish business, but also the entire economy, by writing
about the fifteen years I worked in fish dealing.
I believe that this is a subject not mentioned much. At the
same time, the picture will show what the whole of Japanese
society looks like in relation to the world.
I guess, that makes the sense of writing this book.

[ back