I’m on a movie blog post kick lately–what can I say? Part of it is due to the fact that I’ve seen a series of great movies. Last night’s was Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a documentary about a Japanese sushi chef. Now, if you know me, you know that sushi and I don’t get along. So why in the world would I watch a documentary about sushi?
Because I’m always open to learning about new things. Plus, I’d heard good things about this movie, and I wanted to give it a shot.
It’s an interesting documentary–very well done, but very contemplative. And I’m sure if I were a person who liked sushi, it would be mouth watering. I, however, am not, and so the beautiful fresh raw fish and octopus didn’t leave me with any cravings other than a reminder that I don’t like sushi.
Still, a very good documentary. 7.5/10
One of the most fascinating things about it was watching how this man had devoted his whole life to sushi–to mastering basic principles that many people wouldn’t think twice about. He’s not just about making the sushi. He takes care in how it’s presented. In what fish he buys. In who evaluates those fish. In how the rice is made–what kind of rice, and where it’s grown and who grows it. This is a man who used to massage his octopus for 30 minutes before serving, but he’s upped that to 45 minutes because he thinks it tastes much better.
That’s the sort of attention to detail we’re talking about.
Of course, throughout it all he’s talking about how devotion to work should come before everything else. Sushi came before his family, his personal life, his vacations. He’s 85 years old, and every day continues to be all about sushi.
It’s something I definitely have no desire to emulate. I work hard, and I care about my work, but I care about my family more. If I ever have to make a choice between what helps my family and what helps my career, my family will come first. The same goes for my writing. I’m passionate about it, but not to the expense of all else. Which might explain why I don’t see the kind of success I might see if I approached it differently.
And you know what? I’m okay with that.
In any case, I recommend watching the film, if only to make you think about the same sorts of judgement calls you have to make in your life. Also, to consider what sort of effort and practice true mastery of a craft takes. That’s something that can be applied to anything you’re doing, and this movie has it in spades.
Already seen it? Let me know what you thought!