jiro ono’s philosophy of work and art

(Video link here.) Our friend Fast Forward sent us an illuminating post from Gilttaste called “What Makes Sushi Great”. It’s about newly released film, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, about  Jiro Ono, 85 years old, a revered sushi chef and one of Japan’s Living National Treasures who runs a tiny, legendary restaurant inside a Tokyo subway station: 

“…the movie focuses on the life of a man who is utterly devoted to his craft. Jiro doesn’t have a secret to why his sushi is more astonishing than anyone else’s. What he says, over and over, is that great sushi—and, by extension, greatness itself— is the result of hard work, of dedication, of a commitment to excellence that, in the end, trumps everything else in life.

His search for perfection is eternal.  At 85, he hasn’t stopped working; he says he hates holidays because they are too long to spend away from the restaurant. Chefs, in particular, who have seen the film don’t hesitate to call it “inspiring.” To watch the gorgeously shot scenes of him forming pieces of sushi, jewel-like and dripping with soy sauce and life, is to wish that you might one day make so much beauty. (Indeed, a film critic friend said that her reaction to seeing this was not hunger, but to want to go home and make jewelry.)

… Still, there is another side to this mastery…”

And obsession, and perfectionism.

We want to see this film about a man who “would see ideas [for sushi] in his dreams”,

…who has said “I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top. But no one knows where the top is.

…and “You must fall in love with your work.

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