Come for the Fish, Stay for the Story

Sushi Chefs Speak With Their Hands. Thank Goodness California Is Letting Them Keep Talking.

As you enter a sushi restaurant, it may be the invigorating aroma of cypress—the hinoki countertop that is meticulously sanded down, daily, to a feathery finish—that greets you. It may be the warmth of a cup of bitter green tea that melts a chill, or the soothing steam of a hot oshibori towel that wipes your stress away.

What follows is an intimate storytelling session by a chef who has seen many fish through many seasons.

A slice. A dab of wasabi. A gentle press and a flip followed by slow, firm …

Shinkawa’s Problem

I wonder if he loved the ocean
even more that day the tsunami
swept his cottage from the soil
then miles out, a wave with arms
like a victor’s raking …

It Takes a Village, Alas

Japan, Land of Peasants, Embraces Conformity and Decline

It is not a land, not a culture, not a language prone to self-analysis or philosophy. The thought of reinvention has no resonance. Postwar Japan is a land of …

Will We Freak Out in the Big One?

Post-Quake California Won't Be as Orderly as Japan, But We'll Do Better Than You Might Think

A couple wanders in the wreckage looking for elderly parents lost in the catastrophe. A husband asks around a shelter for his wife, who has been missing since the massive …