Ear: Tuna

The South China Morning Post ran a whopper of an eye-catching headline: "Sushi king pays US $1.8 million for bluefin tuna that weighs as much as a Japanese vending machine" (bit.ly/whoppertuna).

Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns a chain of sushi restaurants, Sushizanmai, always attends the first auction of the year at Tokyo's main fish market, and isn't afraid to let his wallet bleed.

Up for bid this year was a 608-pound bluefin tuna, caught off the North Coast of Japan. Kimura happily coughed up the $1.8 million, which is child's play compared to what he paid at last year's auction, a record $3.1 million for a 613-pound tuna. He is pictured with his current prize, courtesy of Kyodo via the Associated Press.

"Yes, this is expensive, isn't it?" Kimura noted, with a flair for understatement. "I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year, too."

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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