Jiro Dreams of Sushi
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Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world's greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro's sushi bar.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro's life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world and as a loving yet complicated father.
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Top customer reviews
Shokunin is often translated as "Artisan" or "Craftsman". Which while not incorrect, is certainly incomplete.
A shokunin may at first glance seem like a workaholic. And perhaps some workaholics are actually shokunin, but not being Japanese, do not have the privilege to be named as one. (Interestingly, the Japanese also have a term "Karoshi" which means "death from overwork".)
But a shokunin is more than just a workaholic. It is not simply work, it is art, it is a calling, it is the pursuit of perfection, it is the continuous journey to understanding, achievement, and fulfilment of the full potential and purpose of the work.
One Japanese suggested that the shokunin pursues his craft for the benefit of society. His view may be culturally biased. Another (non-Japanese) disagreed and suggested that the shokunin is centred on his achievement, his skills, his development, and his attainment of perfection. This is a rather idio-centric view and explanation of a shokunin's mindset.
My view is that a shokunin is not simply a workaholic. A workaholic (like an alcoholic or any other kind of addict) is either compensating for some defect or lack in his/her life, escaping from life, or both. A shokunin is attempting to achieve perfection. Not for others. Not for himself. But perfection is its own goal.
"Jiro Dreams of Sushi" is about one man's pursuit of perfection in sushi. It is both a very narrow focus, and an impossible subject for a movie, but succeeds anyway.
Finding an 85 year old artist who works every single day, that I want to be like, is saying a lot!
When he complains because there are national holiday's, I just laughed out loud.
The work ethic this man taught himself, because he left home at seven and had no place to go, so he had to find work and food and shelter. And, more than 75 years later, he is THE Sushi master, with a perfect 3 Michelin stars rating. His restaurant only has 10? stools and no restroom facilities attached! Unheard of to get 3 stars with no accommodations.
I loved this movie, and I wanted to eat everything I watched being made.
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The movie is about a Grand Master Craftsman and his astronomical passion for absolute excellence. In a world where people live paycheck to paycheck working a job that they hate, and not enjoying life just to make it month to month and pay the bills. This documentary displays how one man with his passion for sushi made it his life mission to live out his dream which is to make the most amazing, delicious, and perfectly crafted sushi in the world! Jiro Ono is not only an inspiration to all of us seeking purpose in life. But he also demonstrates that there is something more important than money, wealth, and fame... And that is to live your dreams, to pursue them. Find that which you love to do, and do it, everyday! Life is too short to focus on things that time will erode away. This documentary should be a part of social science curriculum in every school...
I feel there is too much attention and reverence in America on business owners who have dumbed down their art for the sake of profit and "success." The current paradigm in the world of American business education is that one must either be working "in" the business, producing its products and services, or the one running the business, behind the scenes - with the latter the obvious choice for which is encouraged. Businesses like MacDonald's these days are hailed as the epitome of success.
This documentary was inspiring because it brought to light a very different paradigm. It brought to light the paradigm of the artist/business owner who puts his craft first, while also maintaining a successful business. It was nice to hear how a man like this thinks & operates. It was nice to see him in front of his customers doing what he loves, as well as behind-the-scenes, teaching his apprentices how to make the best sushi in the world.
Aside from the content, the quality of the cinematography and overall production helped make this one of the most engaging and visually stunning films I've seen in a long time (or ever). The visual poetry and music matched the level of artistic integrity that Jiro places on his work - helping to capture the energy and excitement that Jiro has for his craft, and helping to transmit that to the viewer.
In short - it was one of the best documentaries I've ever seen - both for the content and presentation.