The Heart of Sushi:鮨の心|No.1

The Heart of Sushi

My name is Yoshinori Tezuka (YOSHI). I am a fourth generation sushi chef. In this article I would like to talk about sushi. It will probably take some time, but please bear with me.

Before we dive into sushi, let me first introduce myself.

My great grandfather started Matsunozushi in 1910, from a little sushi cart. In 1936, my grandfather built a traditional Japanese house in Omori Kaigan, our current location, and opened a sushi restaurant. At that time, this town was famous for nori and had a fishing port where a lot of fish for sushi was caught. Also, this town had a bustling geisha quarter with a lots of big restaurants where geisha entertained. Matsunozushi has been loved by customers and grown in this environment. Today, my father and I entertain guests from around the world with our Edo-style sushi. What is Edo-style sushi? This might be a difficult question for foreigners. I would like to answer that by and by in this article.

Although I am a sushi chef now, I did not start my apprenticeship right after leaving school. I knew I wanted to become a sushi chef when I was in elementary school, but I wanted to welcome guests from around the world. So first, I decided to see the world for myself. Since I had been a serious skier in my youth, I became a professional ski guide. I travelled to over 100 ski resorts around the world. My job then, was to introduce European culture to Japanese guests. During off season, I worked as a private guide and guided luxury world cruises and European winery tours. I did a lot of travelling of my own too as a backpacker  and visited over 50 different countries. To learn about foreign cultures and ways of thinking has helped me in many ways as a sushi chef. Now, I am introducing Japanese culture to foreign guests.

Today, sushi is popular around the world. Just a while ago people thought eating raw fish was unthinkable! But since the 90s people have become more conscious of eating healthy. Sushi, not using any meat or oils has been recognized as the perfect healthy meal. Nowadays sushi is eaten in Europe, America, and all around Asia. Sushi is becoming more multinational. There is even a strawberry sushi which is popular in Brazil! Surprising sushi like this is popping up all over the world. I think this is fine. It is a proof that the culture the Japanese are proud of, is spreading.

But, one thing I need to get across, as a Japanese sushi chef, is that sushi is not just a slab of fish on a rice ball. The fisherman who catch the fish, the way it is transported to the market, the broker who evaluate the price of the fish, the way to kill the fish, and lastly the sushi chef who prepares the sushi. The wasabi, the rice, the vinegar, the soy sauce…. In one little piece of sushi there is so much “craft” ,  “work” and “culture”that goes into it.

One thing that is unusual about sushi is that it is prepared by hand. When I think of this, my mother`s rice ball comes to mind. Japanese mothers all make rice balls for their family. I feel that a mother`s wish for the health and happiness for her family is passed on through her hands into the rice ball. A mother pictures each happy face of her family and makes a rice ball according to their tastes, what to put inside, how much salt should be put on, and how to cook the rice. It is the same with us sushi chefs. We think of each individual customer and try to make each sushi with our hearts and hope it passes on through our hands.

“The Heart of Sushi” This is the title of this article. I would like to try to tell “The Heart of the Japanese People” through one of the most well-known Japanese cuisine, sushi.




「松乃鮨」は1910年、私の先祖が小さな鮨の屋台を出したのが始まりです。その後、1936年、現在の地・大森海岸に祖父が伝統的な日本家屋を建て、本格的に鮨屋としてスタートしました。当時、この辺りでは、海苔やたくさんの鮨ネタとなる魚がとれていました。また、芸者さんが出入りする料亭が多く、花街としても大変賑わっていたそうです。「松乃鮨」は、そんな環境の中で多くのお客様に愛され続け、今に至っています。現在は、私と三代目の父が、国内外からお客様を江戸前鮨でお迎えしています。「江戸前鮨」とは何か? 外国の方にはわかりにくい言葉ですね。これもこの連載の中で、おいおい説明していきたいと考えています。


今、鮨は世界的に大ブームとなっています。ひと昔前までは、魚を生で食べるなんてあり得ない! と見向きもされなかった鮨ですが、1990年代頃の世界的なヘルシー志向ブームによって、肉や油を使わない鮨は究極のダイエットフードとして認められるようになりました。今ではヨーロッパやアメリカ、アジアの各地で鮨が食べられるようになっています。それとともに、鮨も多国籍化してきました。ブラジルでは苺の巻き鮨が人気とか! 日本人にとって驚くべきネタの鮨があちこちで誕生しているようです。でも、それはそれでいいんです。日本が誇るべき鮨文化が世界に広まっている証しですから。


そして、鮨は世界でも珍しく、素手で調理する料理です。私はそのことについて考える時、母が握ってくれたおにぎりを思い出します。 私の母だけでなく、日本のお母さんは、家族のためにおにぎりを握ります。私は、家族の健康や幸せを願うお母さんの優しさが、手を通じておにぎりに込められているように思うのです。中身の具材の好み、塩加減、ごはんの硬さなど、それぞれの好みを把握して、家族の喜ぶ顔を考えながら、お母さんはおにぎりを握ります。鮨も同様、鮨職人は真心を手に込めて握ります。お客様一人ひとりのことを考え、その人に鮨を通じて想いが伝わるように……。


手塚 良則|Yoshinori Tezuka

松乃鮨 四代目 / SUSHI Ambassador

手塚 良則|Yoshinori Tezuka

手塚 良則|Yoshinori Tezuka

From an early age, Yoshi accompanied his father to the fish market and was acquainted with the various fish used in sushi. After graduating from Keio university faculty of business, with a year spent in Stanford University as an exchange student, Yoshi decided to leave the sushi world and Japan to experience the world and learn more about hospitality. He became a professional ski guide and guided tours at over 100 ski slopes around the globe and guided tours not only of skiing but world cruises and wineries. With his experience as a tour guide, Yoshi is committed to introducing Sushi and Japanese culture around the globe. His lecture “ Enjoy Sushi with Five Senses” is very popular.




昼11:30~13:30(L.O.)  夜16:30~22:00(L.O.)

更新: 2018年6月27日