Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro’s life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world and as a loving yet complicated father. (Amazon.com)
Year Released
Running Time
82 minutes
Date Released
July 24, 2012
Magnolia Pictures
United States
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)


Please login to review this resource

Review of Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Field of Interest/Specialty: Science
Posted On: 01/12/2020

Julia Kordesich (Knihnicky)
Sacred Heart Elementary School
6th-8th Science and Religion
For educators considering the addition of unique documentary films to their classroom, Jiro Dreams of Sushi should absolutely be on their radar. For others who may be undergoing a search like this, the film’s content includes great lessons for all students, through the profile of Jiro Ono, a world-renowned sushi chef. Throughout the film, the profile of Jiro includes glimpses into the world of high-end dining, Japanese culture, and the world fishing trade.
One of the most important themes of the film is the glorification of Jiro’s work ethic. At the age of 85, Jiro is still active daily in the restaurant’s operations, including overseeing preparations, training new chefs, and completing the dishes in front of the guests. After being on his own at the age of nine, Jiro grew to become one of the most respected chefs in the world. Jiro shares that he hates holidays or any other occasions that interfere with his work. Only following a heart attack did he finally stop going himself to the fish markets to gather ingredients each day. His singular focus has been on creating the greatest sushi and perfecting his technique as a chef, but despite his numerous awards and accolades, he still maintains humility. This lesson can be an inspiration to students, that despite humble beginnings a person simply has to dedicate themselves to improvement in one area to become a master of whatever their passion may be.
Towards the end of the film, Jiro begins to comment on how formerly abundant ingredients can no longer be found. He’s most concerned about tuna, and how large-scale fishing operations can decimate their populations. How commonplace sushi has become is, in his mind, a major contributing factor to the overfishing that is occurring. This is another invaluable lesson in the consequences of large-scale consumption, and can help students to become more conscious of their daily choices when buying new things. It can even be a starting point for units on conservation and human-environment interaction.
Overall, Jiro Dreams of Sushi may appear on the surface to be a profile of a restaurant owner and the food he creates, but the deeper messages embedded throughout the film can help to engage students in the culture of a new country, to build motivation toward their goals, and to become more ecologically conscious in their daily lives.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Field of Interest/Specialty: ESL
Posted On: 04/12/2016

This documentary captures the life of Jiro, an 85 year old man who has committed his life to the art of making sushi. The story told demonstrates not only the essence of what it takes to become a master chef of sushi, but also the satisfaction of dedicating one's life to a skill and mastering it over the course of a lifetime. The story of Jiro and his sons is one that demonstrates the coalescence of precision, tradition, competition, and pride in one's work. All of these tied to the industry behind the making of sushi. As the viewer, you will be taken into the world of sushi through the eyes of the fisherman, the selection of the "just right" fish for that evening's sushi, the rice dealer, the apprentice chefs, and the master Shokukin himself.
This film would be good to use by any teacher who wanted students to understand more about the strong traditions of art, family, loyalty, and precision found in the Japanese culture. Jiro, his sons, and his apprentices demonstrate a tremendous work ethic and dedication to their craft. The commitment to perfection is overwhelming and inspiring. The care in which they take to make each piece of sushi by hand, working for hours and hours to get it just right is impressive. They have perfected the art of sushi making so much so that the narrator refers to Jiro as the maestro directing an orchestra and the consumption of the sushi like three movements in a musical performance. It truly is like you are watching and listening to a beautiful piece of music.
Not only does this film make you want to travel to Toyko to find Jiro's restaurant and taste his sushi, it also provides the viewer with a sense of appreciation for the level of pride, dedication, and passion they have for mastering their skill of making and sharing sushi with the world.

Use of Jiro in the classroom

Field of Interest/Specialty: Japanese Language
Posted On: 05/18/2013

Steven Balsomico
Shaler Area High School
Japanese Language and Culture 1-4, AP Japanese
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a remarkable film that follows an 85-year-old sushi chef, and his unique restaurant. The movie highlights not only how Jiro creates his sushi, but it also depicts his drive and passion to create the perfect sushi.
I believe this film could be used for middle school and up, though I do think that to fully appreciate some aspects of the film, it would be better used in upper high school classes. The movie would be appropriate for almost any class highlighting Japanese, from a world cultures to a world history class.
The movie could introduce students to Japanese culture in two different ways. The first, and this is something that would get many students excited, is the fact that the film centers around sushi. Sushi is widely understood as being “Japanese,” and so students will immediately identify with the topic. Also, very few things capture a teenager’s attention like food, and with the increasing popularity of sushi, many students will be turned on by the depictions of authentic sushi.
The other aspect of Japanese culture is the almost stereotypical depiction of a Japanese man driven to find perfection. The movie centers on Jiro’s quest to create the perfect sushi, and his constant attempts to strive to become a better sushi chef. It also shows how Jiro’s dedication inspires the other chefs and assistants to strive to become masters of their craft.
This movie introduces students to not only food culture in Japan, but also some aspects of the Japanese daily life, as well as some extraordinary aspects of Japanese culture. Students may observe things like the Sukiji fish market, the proper way to make and eat sushi, and other smaller, subtle things in Japan. Furthermore, as of this writing, the movie was made a short time ago, and is still relevant, something that is sometimes difficult to find.
My one complaint as far as using this film in the classroom comes from the fact that I am a language teacher. The language used by the Japanese speakers in the film is too complex for high school, and should be used for language purposes only in college level courses. Also, the copy that I had access to did not have the option to turn subtitles off, which makes it even more useless in a Japanese language classroom.