Meet Jiro Ono. He is an 85-year-old Japanese shokunin, or “skilled craftsman”. His craft? Sushi.
Jiro runs a 10-seat sushi restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station that books reservations at least a month in advance. Each seat costs 300,000 yen (somewhere near $3,500). And yes, Jiro dreams of sushi.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a wonderful documentary about Jiro and his one passion in life – to make great sushi. His drive and dedication is like something out of old Japanese fables. The food he presents is simple: fish, wasabi, rice and soy sauce. But it is the purity of these ingredients which allows for their complex depth of flavor. Every meal he serves, which consists of about 20 pieces of sushi, leaves its diners simply awestruck.
This movie completely immerses you in an elegant and quiet culinary world, paying reverence to its masters and their time-honored traditions. It’s beautifully shot and is completely enchanting, even if you don’t like sushi. My only warning is that it makes you feel quite lame and lazy compared to the various craftsmen in the documentary. Hopefully it’ll light a fire under your butt to find your true passion.
Huge thumbs up from Madame Kwan.