Like many people I know, I have been seriously obsessed with the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which is available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon.
Jiro Ono has been making sushi for over 70 years. His restaurant, a humble space that is literally located in a subway station, has been awarded three Michelin stars. He recently hosted President Obama.
What emerges from the documentary is the passion of one man who has one overarching ambition: to be the best in the world.
He wakes up every day thinking of how he can make better sushi. As the title of the documentary suggests, he dreams of making sushi. He doesn’t take days off if he can help it. He doesn’t have hobbies. And he is relentless in training his apprentices (including his sons) to be the absolute best they can be as well.
He very famously asked apprentice Daisuke Nakazawa to make tamago over two hundred times before he finally deemed it acceptable.
As a writer, I found this documentary incredibly inspiring. I only wish I had the same single-minded focus on improving my craft, on waking up every single day to think about how to improve my writing, and never wavering from my own vision.
Of course, Jiro Ono also wishes he had more. At one point in the documentary he wonders what would be possible if he had been born with the taste buds of Joel Robuchon.
Have you seen the documentary? What do you think?