This photograph depicts the head of a tuna that was used as a spectacular means of decoration in a banquet dinner on a conference in Matsue, western Japan. The raw meat of the fish was sliced into convenient pieces of sashimi, conveniently placed around the head so that guests could pick them up with chopsticks while looking at the deceased animal.
As the guests quickly devoured the tuna, eventually I was the only person left. And so I turned around the table to get a good angle for a photo. Suddendly, I noticed that a thin line of blood started to flow down from close to the fish’s eye, as if it was crying.
I never figured out why in modern societies, so many species receive compassion and are protected from being mistreated, tortured or simply eaten but for some reason fish never seems to receive such attention.
I don’t know what you feel looking at this image; fascination, disgust, joy, sadness, pain or maybe just indifference. In any case this image is one that will always be stuck in my head when I think back about Japan and it’s culture.