Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This week’s film is a popular documentary that might make you hungry.
85-year-old Jiro Ono has dedicated his life to sushi, so much so that he dreams about it at night, pondering new recipes and methods of cooking. His hard work and pursuit of sushi perfection has led him to being recognized as one of the best sushi chefs in the world, owning and operating perhaps the most famous sushi restaurant in the world. In this film, we get a close look at the master chef and his sons as they cook and serve sushi while reflecting on their lives and philosophies of work.
The film especially explores the value of hard work and the importance of having a passion for something that pushes you to pursue mastery, even into old age, constantly desiring to get better. The Japanese even have a word for an artisan pursuing such mastery: shokunin. And this pursuit of mastery is not for fame or money, but for the sake of mastery itself, and for sharing the fruits of one’s labor with others to make the world a better place.
While some viewers may find this relentless pursuit of perfection to be inspiring, others may question its spiritual wisdom, especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, familial relationships, and, of course, one’s relationship with God. Regardless of what one concludes, the film provides a thought-provoking glimpse of an old man continually striving to reach new heights.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is rated PG, but may be more appropriate for older viewers as it will require reading subtitles. (It may also not be for the overly-squeamish, as it includes some shots of unfortunate fish being chopped up.)