Japan's first tuna auction of the year generally sees millions of yen tossed around—in 2011, the top bluefin sold for 32.49 million yen, the equivalent of about $423,000. But hold on to your hats, because 2012 makes that look like chump change. A 593-pound fish sold today for a record $736,000 at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. That translates to about $1,283 a pound, also a record.
This year's record tuna was caught off Oma, just north of the tsunami-battered coast, and the AP notes that the big bucks the fish went for had less to do with its quality and more to do with the emotions and celebrations surrounding the event—and the year the country has had. "Japan has been through a lot," explained the winning bidder, who owns the Sushi-Zanmai chain. "Japan needs to hang in there. So I tried hard myself and ended up buying the most expensive one." If you want to taste it for yourself, hightail it to Tokyo, where a Sushi-Zanmai shop in Tsujiki is selling it for $5.45 per piece—about a $91 loss per piece.