Travelling Sushi Chef Yoshi Talks of “The Heart of Sushi”

Sushi chef Yoshi of Matsunozushi. His work place is all around the globe. “Sushi is not just a slice of fish on rice” Yoshi talks about his art.

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.

Yoshinori Tezuka

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.



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更新: 2018年6月27日