I want to earn a star by using the style I like.
Do you feel pressure, to earn two Michelin stars?
The pressure between one star and two stars are totally different. Everyone at sushi restaurants has pride in their work and they probably all think there is no better restaurant.
When I had one star and noticed that there are two-star restaurants, I was very shocked.
It was not a matter of the number of stars, but I was shocked to know that there were restaurants better than mine.
What do you think is different between when you had one star and now, with two stars?
When it became two stars I felt that I’d grasped the ability to serve good things.
It was a feeling where my food and service, and my mentality, worked out well.
I honestly think there exists the “right” way or route to gain a Michelin star, but I am not happy at all if I get a star through a style that I do not want to do.
I was very hard-headed a long time ago, but I think that made me who I am now.
If I didn’t have that stubbornness, I wouldn’t have been able to evolve.
And finally, please tell me about your dreams.
Now my plan is to establish a branch either in Bangkok or Hong Kong.
Opening a sushi restaurant abroad can lead to lower quality with inferior conditions and many limitations. But I feel there is a value in trying.
Instead of bringing all the ingredients from Japan, I want to try to serve “sushiyoshi”
by using local materials, things that I can only serve there. I am sure that my own horizons will expand, too. I want to keep developing by going back and forth, Japan and abroad, spending two weeks in Japan and two weeks abroad.
And Michelin is not everything, but it is great for me.
I want to earn stars abroad, too!
(Interview: Takashi Ichihara Writer: Keiko Ikegawa Photographer: Yasunori Matsui)