Skip to main content
Design Journal

practice makes…

Jiro-dreams-of-sushi-1

Jiro-dreams-of-sushi-1

For the last couple nights I've been watching the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Have you guys seen it? I originally thought it was going to be mostly beautiful images of one of my favorite foods—and though I walked away craving sushi like no one's business, I was even more inspired by Jiro's process and way of thinking. The 85-year-old Michelin-awarded sushi chef and his sons talk about how important it is to spend time learning your craft, and how skills are developed over time. They emphasize that there's no fast and easy path to being successful or rich, but that with hard work and dedication, you can become really good at something you're passionate about.

Jiro-dreams-of-sushi-2

Jiro-dreams-of-sushi-3

The documentary also features the vendors that Jiro works with (the rice dealer, the shrimp dealer, the tuna dealer), all of whom know their specialties to a tee—but all of whom also strive to improve and learn more every day. With our world being so fast and focused on instant gratification, I love the reminder that sometimes the best things and the best rewards in life do take time and love to grow and mature…

{Movie stills via Magnolia Pictures}

56 comments

  1. My husband and I watched this a few weeks ago and *loved* it. Such wisdom, thoughtfulness, and beauty. Thanks also for tweeting Bonnie’s beautiful letter yesterday. It made me teary, but I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. xo, Lauren from Flee to the Cleve

  2. Thanks for sharing! I’d heard of this but wasn’t quite sure what it was and then it got lost in the tumble.
    I just got your book from the library and have really been enjoying it! My goal is to make it big with my blog in 2013 enough that I can freelance blog for a living by the end of the year. I’m certainly learning that taking time to really learn my “craft” well is what is going to make the difference.
    I’ve made a (long) list of skills I know I need to improve on!

  3. My husband and I love that documentary! We went to Japan for our honeymoon last month and my husband was so starstruck when we randomly spotted Mr. Jiro Ono food shopping in the fancy food floor at Mitsukoshi department store in Ginza 🙂
    People in Japan are so passionate about their craft. I always leave Japan feeling extremely inspired.

  4. one of the most touching documentaries i’ve ever seen. his dedication to his art is truly admirable. i wish i could go eat there every day. ha!

  5. This is a great post and reminder. Too often I get discouraged with myself that I’m not a “master” at the things I love. But then you see that the actual masters are constantly working just as hard (more!). Now I’m dying to see this documentary!

  6. When I started to watching it I thought it would be boring, but I ended up watching the whole documentary from the beginning to end and I loved it!
    So much greatness to learn about this man, discipline, hard work but more important than anything is the love he has for what he does.

  7. Loved this – it was so grounded and life-afirming, and filled me with a really positive energy to create and do things with intention. Easy to overlook, but powerful in it’s own way.

  8. I saw the documentary when it was in theaters and loved it! Just recently watched the Bill Cunningham documentary and it reminded me so much of Jiro. They are so different but so fundamentally the same in the passion and dedication they have for their craft. Both are so inspiring.

  9. Jiro dreams of sushi is one of my favorite documentaries ever. I think you would also like “Herb & Dorothy” i just finished it – yay netflix. It’s a doc about Herb & Dorothy, a nonchalant couple who amassed one of the largest collections of modern art in the 80s. Really interesting.

  10. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  11. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  12. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  13. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  14. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  15. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  16. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  17. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  18. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  19. Oh my gosh, I am so excited right now… my boyfriend was one of the producers on this film and I’ve seen it at least ten times now… one of my absolute favorites of his projects. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it… Jiro is an inspiration! This post made my day.

  20. Joy, I’m so glad you watched/posted about Jiro! My guy & I LOVED this doc and found it so inspiring. The principals and lessons Jiro speaks about can be applied to all facets of life.

  21. Yes! Saw it a few weeks ago. Loved it when the father told his son that “he had no home to come back to” when he left to start his own restaurant. No coddling that’s for sure!

  22. I saw this film at the San Diego Asian Film Festival last year. It was phenomenal and we got to hear the documentary maker speak about it. Love this film!

  23. I absolutely LOVED this documentary- so delicate and inspiring. His persistance and simple devotion is incredible, and yes, definitely makes you appreciate what clean hard work can get you.

  24. i loved that movie. like you, i thought it was going to be just an artsy documentary with glamour shots of the sushi (which there was plenty of!), but the story of his dedication and attention to the craft was amazing.

  25. So inspirational. It definitely makes me want to make simple, pure, delicious food from simple, pure, delicious ingredients. But apart from that I would definitely strive to apply his same principles of art and discipline to my jewelry.

  26. Saw this a few months ago with my husband and our best friend. Even though I’m vegetarian and the fish market was a little sad to see, I was really inspired by Jiro’s Dedication.I’m a designer and I love the stage where I get totally obsessed about a project. Love your blog! IT’s a great place to find inspiration…

  27. Watched this documentary as well recently and thoroughly enjoyed watching the “Art” of Sushi. It takes such discipline to create this type of food. You’re right, the lessons learned in this movie can translate to anyone’s chosen profession or craft.

  28. I watched this film a couple of nights ago and I just loved it! One of the most inspirational things I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t know anyone else who has seen it yet, so I was so happy when I saw your post!

  29. Saw this in theatres… LOVED IT… was saddened by his childhood story but loved his outlook on life and how he respects the art of sushi making.

  30. Joy – you should watch El Bulli: Cooking in Progress. It’s a different perspective than Jiro Dreams of Sushi but it is also incredibly beautiful and offers an amazing view of the culinary creative process.

  31. Hi Joy – I watched this movie a few months ago and it is one my favourite documentary’s of all time. You summed it up beautifully in your last line: “With our world being so fast and focused on instant gratification, I love the reminder that sometimes the best things and the best rewards in life do take time and love to grow and mature…” I absolutely agree, this movie was a lovely reminder that following your passion involves hard work and discipline. I can’t wait to visit in person – going to visit is now on my bucket list!

  32. I LOVED this documentary. I learned so much about dedication, passion, as well as the Japanese culture! I’m pretty sure it’s still on my instant queue because I want to watch it again. 🙂

  33. I keep watching bits and pieces of this on Netflix — I need to sit down and watch the whole thing. My husband watched it and keeps telling me how applicable it would be to my craft (ceramics). The one portion I saw that was kind of sad to me was when he was describing life with children — how he rarely saw them awake… My dedication to craft cannot go that far!

  34. Oh my God Joy, I absolutely loved this documentary! I watched it with my boyfriend a couple of months ago, mainly because he loves sushi, me not so much…i dont like seafood… I know argghh! Neither of us expected to end this movie inspired by Jiro and his son. It came at a moment when I was feeling really uninspired and tired of how hard things can become. Not only is it beautifuly filmed, but this documentary reminded me that if you want something you need to fight hard for it!

  35. Grace, I couldn’t help myself on replying to your comment to congratulate your boyfriend! This documentary was beautifully made and my boyfriend and I were truly inspired by it. Also, your blog is awesome!

  36. It totally is a boost and recommend it for anyone that needs it…or not! You have a lovely blog, please keep it up and by the way my copy of Blog, Inc is in the mail. Cant wait to read it! 😉

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *