Jiro Dreams Of Sushi Essay

1382 Words6 Pages
Sara Rutherfurd
Japanese 1
09 August 2017
Culture Report: The Shokunin Influence The 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi by the American director David Gelb is about an 85-year old sushi master named Jiro Ono and his Michelin 3-star rated restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro in a Tokyo subway station. Like many films about food, Jiro Dreams of Sushi shows artfully arranged and delicious-looking sushi with a tasteful background of classical music. Naturally, after watching a movie about sushi, anyone would want to make a reservation and book a flight to Japan. However, there is more to this documentary than the food alone. The story of Jiro 's quest to perfect the craft of making sushi and presenting it in his restaurant for the
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The Smithsonian Magazine article How Japan Copied American Culture and Made it Better describes how Japan outdoes America in Americana, taking iconic American products such as bourbon, burgers, jazz, and clothing, improving and elevating them (Downey). It is simply incredible that they have taken their single-minded attention to detail and focused on what makes these American products good, and then reinvented them into an even greater version than the original. Even Kumon, the Japanese math enrichment program, is based on a system of self-learning through repetition resulting in perfecting the student 's ability to perform math calculations accurately and to retain the material learned (Kumon). As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect,” and what is repetition, but practice? Another hallmark of the shokunin philosophy which is seen in Japanese culture is their sense of purpose with regard to work. The shokunin seeks perfection in their craft, not for personal gain or accolades, but rather to push the boundaries of the craft and make it better. A shokunin who is trained in the craft of tategu-shi, shoji screen making, Toshio Odate, is interviewed in the article The Craft of the 'Shokunin ' (Warner 1). Odate 's work is done in the customer 's home and does not require a work bench or sanding tools. Using his body to hold the pieces of wood steady, and planing tools with swift strokes to give “a greater polish to the surface,” Odate 's work is an artform on

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