Even if you don’t care much about sushi, you may fall under the spell of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, widely considered to be the world’s greatest sushi master. His story is told in a documentary called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi“, currently showing in movie theaters across Canada.
Mr Ono is the owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in an office building adjacent to the Ginza subway station in Tokyo. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review. Reservations must be made months in advance and meals start at $300 a person.
The film is a portrait of the craftsman (shokunin) as an old man. At work since he was 9, Mr. Ono is a former soldier who, since his first days as a chef, has dreamed about ways to improve sushi. At the heart of this story though, is the father’s relationship with his oldest son Yoshikazu, now in his late 50s, who patiently waits to inherit the business.
Personally, what I took out most from this movie, is how much training, judgment, and beauty, go into a slice of fish on seasoned rice. And immediately after watching it, I felt the urge to hurry up to my local favorite sushi place, Bistro Isakaya.