Seeking to explore power as crucial factor in the design of the built environment, we will look at energy systems and related objects, from sites of generation to spaces of consumption, from distribution networks to control rooms.

Tutors: Filip Geerts and Sanne van den Breemer
Director of Studies: Salomon Frausto

Contributors: Santiago Ardila, Juan Benavides, Daniella Camarena, Stef Dingen, Marco Fusco, Jack Garay Arauzo, Theodora Gelali, Shaiwanti Gupta, Hao Hsu, Marianthi Papangelopoulou, Felipe Quintero, Gent Shehu, Siyuan Wang

Shokuniku Market

Public opinion, Food, Consumption, MetropolitanTokyo, Paris, Transportation, Culture, Economy, Lifestyle, Image

The Shokuniku Market located near Shinagawa train station is the only meat central wholesale market in Tokyo, which is mainly responsible for slaughtering and wholesale of livestock.
In the 19th century, as residents' demand for meat increased, many scattered slaughterhouses and meat shops appeared in Tokyo. In order to solve odor and sanitation problems, the government unified the slaughterhouses in the Shibaura Konan area in 1936 This is the meat market today. The Konan area is directly connected to Shinagawa Station, and livestock from all over the country can be gathered here by rail.1 In the 1970s, the comprehensive building of the meat market was put into use. This concentrated the slaughtering, wholesale, and management work, and improved the efficiency of the meat market. When frozen trucks gradually replaced rail transportation, the meat market had lost its previous location advantage, but it remained in place because the market also assumed the responsibility of eliminating misunderstandings of Japanese society for slaughterhouses and slaughter workers. The museum in the meat market details the historical development of slaughtering in Japan and the current working process, hoping to eliminate this connection between "slaughter" and "dirty" in people's mind. Historically, butchers are one of the lowest-end occupations in Japan. These people are called burakumin, which is somewhat similar to the Indian caste system. Although this system was abolished in the 19th century, this prejudice still exists in people's hearts. Today, employees still receive anonymous hate emails.2
    In the 18th century in Paris, the slaughterhouses were scattered in the city in the form of small workshops. In 1799 Napoléon Bonaparte came to Paris to make reforms, and built 5 slaughterhouses on the periphery of the city.
Regarding meat production, the biggest problem is the separation of the livestock market and the slaughterhouse. As they are located in different parts of the city. With the surge in population in Paris, the demand for meat has greatly increased, and railways have flourished, forcing slaughterhouses and livestock markets to become more concentrated and efficient. In the 1860s, the La Villette slaughterhouse, which concentrated slaughterhouses, livestock markets, and railways, began operations.
After entering the twentieth century, mechanized slaughter methods gradually occupied the mainstream, road transportation rose, and railroads declined. Therefore, slaughterhouses located in cities with concentrated populations began to decline. Slaughterhouses can find cheaper locations in the areas of principal cities.3

1. 福嶋 誠一郎, “品川ビジネス街は肉から開発 芝浦と場・食肉市場のあゆみ昭和・平成史”, Accessed on March 8, 2020.
2. Mike Sunda, “Japan's hidden caste of untouchables”. Accessed on March 8, 2020.
3. Dorothee Brantz, “Recollecting the slaughterhouse”, Accessed on March 7, 2020.