Often recommended as one of the tourist hotspots of Tokyo is the Tsukiji fish market. Situated on the bay of the Sumida River, Tsukiji is the world’s biggest fish market and wholesaler. Retailers, restaurants, and shops flock to buy freshly caught fish from that morning. Products range from low cost seaweed to expensive caviar, including auctions for buying items such as tuna in large quantities. Customers attend when the market opens at 3am and sellers sell out by midday, while the outer markets close by early afternoon.
Tourists from around the world can visit the market to taste and buy sashimi that has been cut and prepared minutes from leaving the fishing boats for the freshest and most delicious flavor possible. Some shops give demonstrations of cutting and preparing the large fish and show which parts are used for what kind of dishes. Tsukiji is considered a proud and respected location in Japan’s trading industry. In the outer market, there is a recognizable face to fans of Showa Sentai.
The outer market focuses on normal shoppers looking to buy enough for a weekly food shop or try out some fish-orientated dishes. Frying fish is a popular way, but there are various techniques. One is Tsukudani, cooking small fish, meat and seaweed in soy sauce and mirin with varying flavors, a technique originating from the island of Tsukudajima in the Edo period. In the heart of this market, Choudenshi Bioman’s Pink Five, Michiko Makino, runs a store that specializes in Tsukudani.
The store, which has been at the market for over 20 years, is a family business that Michiko has been working at for over 10 years. Michiko still keeps busy as a guest writer for various magazines, covering items such new beauty products. We stopped by her shop and were lucky enough to ask her a few questions.
Do you have any favorite moments of Bioman that you still remember to this day?
The episode with the Neo-Brain (where Pink Five befriends an artificial intelligence invented by the evil Doctor Man) is the one I’m fondest of. I was carrying it around all the time and I actually grew attached to it. All the scenes were memorable. Also, in the last two episodes, they let us wear the suits and Michihiro Takeda, who normally played my transformed self, was my adversary in battle. It was really memorable as well, I kept weeping.
Do many fans come to your shop here in Tsukiji?
Many fans from around the world visit the shop at Tsukiji. Europe, Southeast Asia, Korea, Taiwan, etc. Many people from Japan also come and visit.
I am very thankful for having so many female fans.
Because of the Internet, new Bioman fans are being created everyday. Is there anything you want to say to them?
Thank you for loving Bioman. I am very happy to have played a character so many people hold so dearly even today. Sentai series’ are full of so many things, bravery, hope and friendship. For me, Bioman is my family and a part of me. Everyone, live a life with energy and always march forward.
Thank you very much to Michiko Makino for taking the time to talk to us.