"Bestor's vivid and meticulous study of Tokyo's seafood market is at once perhaps the best description we have of a modern, large-scale commodity bazaar, an important contribution to comparative economics, and a powerful analysis of the everyday workings of Japanese culture. As a portrait of a master institution in a complex society, Tsukiji represents a major advance in the anthropological description of contemporary life."Clifford Geertz, author of The
Interpretation of Cultures
"This is, quite simply, a masterpiece of ethnography and a jewel of a book. It will prove immediately popular and influential."William W. Kelly, Professor of Anthropology, Yale University
"Bestor's rich portrait of Tsukiji is set within the larger frame of Tokyo's urban history, helping us see clearly the forces which, over time, resulted in the creation of the world's greatest seafood market. An impressive amount of ethnographic fieldwork turns his fascination with Tsukiji into a first-rate piece of anthropological analysis. The reader will see Tokyo's colossal fish emporium through Bestor's eyes, far better than we could ever see it with our own."Sidney Mintz, author of Sweetness and Power and Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom
"This study is a fine example of how key local institutions both drive and reflect larger national and global processes.
In showing us the global reach of a major seafood market in Japan, Bestor is able to bring the best practices of ethnography to the abstractions of the economy, thus deepening our sense of how money, commodities, risk and drudgery meet to produce a specific - and brilliantly evoked - cultural economy. This is a rare book, full of treats for both the specialist and the general reader. "Arjun Appadurai, author of Modernity at Large