Jiro Dreams of Sushi — Updated, June 2012.
UPDATE: I finally saw Jiro Dreams of Sushi last night, June 1, 2012. Excellent. Director David Gelb is oh-so-obviously influenced by Godfrey Reggio, which is a fine thing. Props to Birmingham’s The Edge theater for bringing it to town.
Jiro Ono. Sushi chef. At eighty-five, says . . .
“You must fall in love with your work.”
“. . . I feel ecstasy every day. I love making sushi.”
“There is always room for improvement.”
“Nowadays parents say to there kids, ‘If it gets too hard, you can come back.’ When parents say stupid things like that their kids will turn out to be failures.”
“I fell in love with my work and gave my life to it.”
“When I was in school, I was a bad kid.”
“It’s essential to check every detail.”
“I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top. But no one knows where the top is.”
Can a “Jiro’s Guide to Business Management” book be far off?
A new documentary directed by David Gelb, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, was released in the U.S. on March 9, 2012. I’m posting the trailer just below (there’s a short ad you can skip at the trailer’s beginning).
A beautiful documentary. Scenes from Tsukiji Fish Market bring back memories, and will bring them back for many who’ve made it there in their travels to or living experience in Japan. A plug for memories . . . 懐かしい。 I’ve traveled on the Ginza (Subway) Line many times, but, no, I’ve not yet been to Jiro-san’s “modest” restaurant, yet. Just from the trailer, the language, the words, what is said and how it’s said is both poetry and prayer. Of course, all the best poems are prayers and all the best prayers are poems. Now that I’ve seen the film, I can say that it will not be a let-down from the trailer.
Review: On my recommendation a friend of mine just saw Jiro Dreams of Sushi and offers-up this review on her blog. While she finds Jiro-san “an inspirational figure,” she understandably draws the line at his lifetime focus on one thing, on one profession. I agree that I cannot empathize with a Doing-Only-One-Thing-in-Life philosophy, but, of course, that’s what makes Jiro-san so unique (and a film about his life worth making): he found One Thing that captivated him (and “captured” him), that he loves, and that he felt/feels compelled to never stop improving upon. I believe that while few of us can or would want to be 100% Jiros, we can all find valuable lessons in the central message of, “If you’re going to doing something, do it well and in an inspired way.” Even a vocational or professional “Renaissance Person” can be a perfectionist at multitasking, right?
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Just for fun, here’s another take on sushi-ness in Japan (yes, it’s a parody):
Updated, June 2, 2012: Here’s something I shot in August 2011, a short vid I made at a kaiten-zushi restaurant. In Jiro Dreams of Sushi, one of Jiro’s sons, Yoshikazu, laments the depletion of fish stocks, due to over-fishing, and in part blames places just like this, which are now common in Japan. He makes a good and sobering point. . .
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