In 1918, Fushitaka was launched as a middle trader dealing with fresh fish in a fish market, called Uogashi, in Nihonbashi, central Tokyo. Uogashi was then a gigantic animated market trading all fresh, salted and dried fish and shellfish for Edo – Tokyo residents for over 300 years. In the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, the market was relocated to Tsukiji, leading to the current Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market. At the same time, Fushitaka was moved to Tsukiji, starting a focus on the trade of ingredients from the sea, such as katsuobushi (dried bonito), konbu (dried kelp) and niboshi (dried sardines.)
Today’s third-generation owner, Katsuhiko Nakano, says Fushitaka values ‘authentic’ food ingredients that skilled artisans make with care from qualified raw produce. Unfortunately, it is not too much to say that there are fewer skilled artisans of that kind and the authentic ingredients are rare and in some cases, on the verge of vanishing. Fushitaka’s goal is commitment to preserving and conveying these authentic ingredients to the world.
The founder, Kousuke Nakano, served his apprenticeship at a fish shop, Fushi-masa. When he created his own business, he was given ‘Fushi’ from the shop, and chose ‘taka’ from his own name Kou-suke, which can also be read as Taka-suke in Japanese. This is the way Fushitaka had been named.