Jiro Dreams of Sushi: Moving and Mouthwatering

I just got back from seeing Jiro Dreams of Sushi, an exceptional documentary about 85-year old sushi chef Jiro Ono.  Considered one of the best sushi chefs in Japan, and the oldest chef in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars, Jiro continues to run his critically acclaimed restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro–a 10-seat jewelbox of a restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station.  Jiro can count culinary heavyweights from around the world as fans, including Joel Rubuchon and Anthony Bourdain, who has said his meal at Jiro was “the best sushi of his life.”

The movie touches on many subjects: work ethic, culture, generation gaps, class, family, life, death, and even environmentalism.  But the theme that struck me most throughout the film was dedication to one’s craft.  Jiro truly has a passion for making sushi–a lifelong passion that continues to drive him to this day.  And his passion, perfection, and persistence seemed to rub off on everyone around him: his son Yoshikazu, his apprentices, his fish dealers, his rice dealers.  He inspired others with his dedication, and pushed them to elevate their own skills and passion as well.  Every element of the sushi–the technique and quality of the fish, the preparation and particular variety of rice, the final presentation and timing of the meal–involved countless hours of training, testing, and tasting, to get that one perfect umami bite.

In an age where sushi is ubiquitous around the globe, we forget that sushi making is really an art form.  But Jiro Dreams of Sushi reminds us that artisans like Jiro are still out there, elevating the craft that they love and bringing joy to eager diners one nigiri at a time.

(Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

7 responses to “Jiro Dreams of Sushi: Moving and Mouthwatering

  1. cool! Thanks for sharing… I may have to see this tomorrow 🙂

  2. Gosh, Tokyo’s subway stations have sushi eateries and NYC’s have rubbish bins. I’ll go with Shinjuku at 19:00 than Times Square any time of the day…

    • Not true! Grand Central has the Oyster Bar! Penn Station has eateries – not the best but still.. each place is unique in its own way. Hot dogs are found at every subway entrance – very new York city 🙂

      • you know where else has the oyster bar? Tokyo~ so unfortunately, that’s kinda lost its meaning. However, the clear winner in salubrious, well-lit and abundant eateries in subways is Tokyo, but to be fair, street food doesn’t really exist there, save for overflow from kushiyaki places. Though that’s an entirely different matter;) Hmm…are you from NY?

      • I am from Australia and live in NY… appreciating a space and destination is something I value, and The oyster bar, and the Whispering Gallery right outside of it, are landmarks in my opinion… Grand Central Station was thankfully saved from demolition decades ago which makes the station even more special. I look forward to visiting Japan and appreciating its beauty; for now, I will appreciate all NY has to offer… subways included!

      • Oh, which part of Australia do you hail from? I’ve only been to standard issue parts of Melbourne and Sydney, but for some reason, Townsville might be luring me next time, and Hobart might be a good investment.

        I’m from NY, so it’s nice to hear that you know about local trivia, as opposed to just the best times to queue up for the Empire State Building! The real shame, way before our time, was the destruction of the old Penn Station, but I digress. Do you frequent the outer boroughs for good eats?

      • I live in Brooklyn, so yes. I am from Sydney. All that info, as well as my POV, is on my blog so if you may have an interest, take a look.

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