Last week I had off from work and I spent the entire week staycationing at home watching documentaries on Netflix. I watched quite a few different documentaries — one on up and coming ballerinas, another on legendary photographer Bill Cunningham, another on the founder of Burt’s Bees — but by far my favorite documentary was one that was entirely in Japanese, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
The documentary tells the story of Jiro, an 85 year old sushi chef and restaurant owner in Japan. He has dedicated his entire life, since being kicked out of his house at age 9, to learning and perfecting his craft. However, even at his age, with nearly 80 years of experience and the ultimate award of 3 Michelin stars, he does not feel that he has achieved perfection. He hates to to take time off from the restaurant and he always wants to get back to work so he can continue working to make the best sushi possible. In fact, he loves his job so much that he still has not yet retired so that his 50 year old son can take over the restaurant.
The story of Jiro is such a foreign concept to me, especially when comparing it to the “American Dream,” as we have completely different views in America concerning work, money, jobs, life, retirement, etc. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who loves their work as much as Jiro does, but its pretty good food for thought!
And for the record, I don’t even like sushi that much, but I found this documentary to be fascinating. Perhaps if I ever find myself in Tokyo I will book myself a seat at Jiro’s restaurant. I’m sure he will still be making his sushi!