By Cailey Rizzo
November 11, 2019
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A record-breaking “five shining star” snow crab was auctioned off for $46,000 in Japan last week.

The 2.7-pound crab became the most expensive in the world when it was auctioned off in Japan’s Tottori prefecture. And it will be possible to take a bite.

The winner of the auction was Tetsuji Hamashita, president of fishery wholesaler Hanashita Shoten. A spokesperson for the wholesaler told Kyodo News that the crab will be sold to an upscale Japanese restaurant in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood, although they did not clarify which one.

The price was “a little higher than expected. But this is the crab I must buy. So, I feel relieved,” Hamashita told Japanese broadcaster NHK. "I just want people to know crabs in Tottori are the best.”

Snow crab hunting season is a tradition in Japan that kicks off every year with an auction following the first fish of the year, called the "festive quotation market.” Winning the first and best crab auctioned off at the market is a superstitious tradition. It is believed that the winner of the auction will have good luck all year round.

The “five shining star,” or itsukiboshi, is a particular delicacy, found off the coast of Tottori. It is named for its unique shape and high-quality meat, long legs, and creamy innards.

The auction more than doubled the previous record for most expensive crab: an $18,000 snow crab, which was also auctioned away in Tottori last year. Hamashita also won that auction.

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