Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Director: David Gelb
Who should watch: Those who are interested in seeing into the daily life of a true master and learning what sorts of behaviors and values are necessary to have in order to become the greatest at any discipline or practice. Anyone who is seeking to be inspired.
Who shouldn’t watch: Anyone who isn’t particularly driven in life or doesn’t have a dream of mastering anything. Anyone who can’t understand the beauty in giving your entire life to something like sushi-making in order to become the greatest at it.
Overall idea: An exceptional passion to continually grow one’s skills will lead to success. In order to truly become a master, one’s entire being must be dedicated to it. Money is not the goal, but simply a byproduct of mastery. Honor is another form of wealth.
“Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.”
– Jiro Ono
Jiro Ono is widely-regarded as the greatest sushi chef in the history of the world. His restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is the first sushi restaurant ever to be awarded Three Michelin Stars, the highest award that any restaurant can receive. He has played host to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as United States President Barack Obama. Even with all of these honors, Sukiyabashi Jiro is a humble restaurant, located in a Tokyo subway station, and contains only 10 seats.
This documentary looks into the daily lives of Jiro and his eldest son Yoshikazu Ono, as well as a number of their apprentices, and gives a rare glimpse behind the scenes of their brilliance. From the egg sushi apprentice, to the tuna picker, to the shrimp dealer, everybody that Jiro associates with is the definition of “shokunin”. Everything with Jiro is about simplicity and striving for perfection. Even after 75+ years of making sushi every day, Jiro still looks to continually learn and improve, making him possibly one of the greatest masters to ever live.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi also gives a glimpse into Japanese culture and the pride that is taken in walking the road to becoming a master. We see the struggle of a son who is also a master sushi chef, but may always be in his father’s shadow. We see another son who decides to open up his own sushi restaurant with the hope of living up to his father’s expectations. We see apprentices who are willing to sacrifice 10 years of grueling service to Jiro in order to hopefully become a great sushi chef themselves. The hard-work, dedication, and humility that’s shown is something that anyone, particularly us Westerners, can learn from.
The documentary, like Jiro’s sushi, is a true piece of art and a must-watch for anyone. It’s perfect for watching on a Sunday night, because after watching it, you can’t wait to go to work on Monday and start perfecting your craft. Below is the trailer for Jiro Dreams of Sushi…
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