FILM : Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Sushi and Sustenance 

Passing down the legacy of culture and food

Released in 2011, ‘Jiro dreams of Sushi’ is a sensitive look at family and food as director David Gelb gives the audience a look into the life of the world’s greatest sushi chef.  Jiro is a humble chef who despite have only 10-seats in his subway station located restaurant has earned 3 Michelin stars, the highest honor in food preparation .

The film is a visual orgasm for the senses as shots of mouthwatering sushi and vinegared rice keeping coming frame after frame in a series of gourmet food porn that leave viewers hot and hungry by completion.

But the story is less about food and more about a life’s journey in the pursuit of daily perfection by the main character, Jiro, an 85-year-old father and chef who has been declared a national treasure by the government of Japan for protecting traditional food culture.

To appreciate the nuances of the documentary’s subtle themes it is important to understand the real goals of traditional hobbies and sports popular in Japan such as karate, calligraphy and tea ceremony to name a few.  These activities are not short term competitive endeavors for fame and glory but rather lifetime pursuits of development and maturity.  Talent is of course a factor in becoming ‘good’ at your sport or trade, but the more important lesson is that consistence and persistence will lead its student onto an honorable path of long-term self-improvement.

However for me personally the most POWERFUL part of the tale was the dynamic father-son relationship between a man who has been recognized for his priceless ability and a son who may never live up to his father’s immeasurable legacy.  For every daughter or son following in the footsteps of greatness and legend there is the constant psychological struggle of never knowing if they’ve become their own person or simply a weak imitation of potent DNA.   To explore the biological need for fatherly love and the social desire for individual professional recognition, the film does an excellent job of exploring the complicated nature of the relationship without forcing an opinion on its viewer.

For more on the film check out the website here

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Back to Tokyo for Round 2! Konnichiwa Greenstreet!


Greenstreet has the kind of sound that is indescribable while at the same time being unforgettable.  Excellent live performers, they made a splash on the Japanese music scene in 2010 with performances all around the Tokyo area for the Japan Music Week.  This year they return to Japan to get into the studio, talk Japan exclusive distribution deals and perform for their growing overseas fan base.  Here’s what they had to say about their last trip to Japan and what they’re looking forward to this time around.

Name: Greenstreet
Occupation: Music
Twitter: @alivegreenst @rengreenst @soupagreenst @snaxxgreenst 
Website: http://greenstreetrecords.net

@TokyoTwilighter :  How many times have you been to Tokyo?

A-Live : Once, but currently preparing for our second trip there next month.

Soupa: Once.

@TokyoTwilighter :  What surprised you the most about Tokyo?

A-Live : The efficiency of the city was incredible; from the trains, traffic, supermarkets, etc. I live in New York City, and it’s not half as efficient as Tokyo. The energy of the people was also positively surprising — everyone was super friendly and helpful in almost every situation.

@TokyoTwilighter : Where did you party?

A-Live : Hmm. Roppongi was crazy, we did the gaijin (gaijin is a slang term for not Japanese) thing to do and went to Gas Panic..for better or worse. Shibuya was my favorite locale overall.

Soupa : Everywhere. Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shibuya..especially at The Game.

@TokyoTwilighter : How was the music scene in Tokyo?

Soupa : The hip-hop scene in Tokyo was a small and supportive crowd.  I felt like they were a family, and I really appreciated them letting me be a part of that family while I was there.  It showed me that hip-hop has no borders, and that’s great for the future and progress of our art.

A-Live : I think Tokyo has a dynamic music scene, and the best part of it is, they seem to support their own. It also showed me that music is truly an universal language; we met so many people that didn’t speak even English but were rocking with us a 100%!

@TokyoTwilighter : Did you try any Japanese cuisine or snacks?

A-Live : Yeah! The highlights for me were kaiten sushi, the ebi burger at Mos Burger, and curry udon. Also Calpis soda! Soupa went to sleep cradling a can of that every night.

Soupa :  The sushi conveyor belts were a lot of fun. I could have eaten at one of those places for every meal of every day.  I was also a big fan of dorayaki.

@TokyoTwiligher : What was the biggest challenge while visiting Tokyo?

Soupa: My Japanese…or lack thereof.

A-Live : Hm, the language was a problem at times. I’m trying to become conversational in Japanese before my next trip. Also, the exchange rate..the US dollar is miserable, smh.

@TokyoTwilighter : What’s on your Tokyo bucket list for next time?

Soupa : Honestly, I would really like to get outside of Tokyo and explore the rest of the country. On the train ride from Narita airport, I saw a lot of beautiful scenery in the countryside that I would like to get a closer look at.  I also want to take a trip up to Nagano and chill with the macaques in the hot springs at Jigokudani.

A-live: Definitely echo what Soupa said. I want to go to an onsen as well. Also, I want to get an invitation to the Louis Vuitton store in Omotesando but..that’s probably wishful thinking, haha.

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Greenstreet will be back to Japan from November 3rd – 28th.

This weekend, November 4th they’ll be performing at Grande in Shibuya