Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about a famous sushi chef and his son. Since Jiro is a perfectionist, his eldest son, Yoshikazu, struggles to live up to his father’s name. This documentary shows Jiro’s passion for sushi making, the fish depopulation, Japanese culture, and family dynamics in Japan. Jiro teaches the lesson that you must fall in love with your work and to love your work. The film was beautifully shot with plenty of slow motion scenes of the mouth watering sushi. At the end of the film, Jiro is asked if Yoshikazu is fit to take over the family business and Jiro says “He just needs to keep it up for the rest of his life.” I enjoyed the film but Jiro’s response made me question if Yoshikazu actually wanted to take over the family business. Did it ever cross his mind to question what else he could do? Japanese culture values company loyalty so I am assuming that Yoshikazu’s entire life was dedicated to his families business. I think he was socially constructed to think that he MUST take over for his father. In Japan, when someone is employed it is uncommon for them to change companies even if another company offers them a higher salary or position. People are looked down upon if they switch companies. The film was very inspiring by showing Jiro’s love and dedication for sushi making but it also made me question loyalty in Japanese culture. What if Yoshikazu never wanted to take over the family business but was pressured into thinking it was his duty to because of Japanese culture????
Writing Two | Assignment #1
Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Dir. David Gelb. Perf. Jiro Ono and Yoshikazu Ono. Magnolia Pictures, 2011. Film.