Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Be Like Jiro


Jiro Ono.

He is the owner and head sushi chef of Sukiyabashi Jiro--a Michelin Guide 3-star restaurant in Ginza, Chuo-ko, Tokyo, Japan. He is considered the greatest sushi chef in the world. I went to watch the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" at the TIFF Lightbox and let me tell you: WOW.

If you ever thought about sushi as just being some raw fish slapped ontop of rice and that it's something any schmuck can do, you are dead wrong. It's an art.

The documentary explores Jiro's life and his one true love: making perfect (even he says it's not but really, it's got to be) sushi. He's devoted his entire life to making sushi. On the surface, the movie seems a mere documentary about Jiro's life and his love. But when you really look at it, you see that this one man has committed to something whole-heartedly and for his entire life. He's found something that speaks to him and it has become his soul. He is what they coin a shokunin: The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning.  The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. … The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people.  This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfill the requirement.” – Tasio Odate

In this day and age, everything is quick quick quick. We're always jumping from one thing to the next without ever thinking about sticking around or in further depth. If this docu-movie doesn't ruin your for mainstream sushi, it will at the very least, make you rethink your life as you know it.

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