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Sushi showdown: Women challenge one of Japan's male bastions

21 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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21 Comments
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There's nothing wrong with a women cooking anything, including sushi, if she knows what she's doing. The legend with the warmer hands is only that,I was popular among girls in winter for my very warm hands(i have good blood flow to the extremities), and must girls'hands I've touched were ice cold then.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well, hopefully this will debunk old obnoxious chauvinist superstitions. Doesn't matter who the chef is, if they make food delectable, let them make it delectable... YUM!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The old-foggie network would like everyone to believe that women cant do this or that, and THAT is BS.

Sadder still is many women themselves perpetuate and support the claims against their being able to do certain types of "male-only" jobs and do not even realize that they are guilty of putting all women down too.

Personally speaking....who gives a flying frick if it's a woman or man making the sushi, bring it on!

There's nothing wrong with a women cooking anything, including sushi, if she knows what she's doing. -

Never had cooked sushi, wonder how it tastes. lol!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

An interesting article and I wish this woman and her establishment every success. Undoubtedly it will be an uphill battle, but I suspect that if what she serves is of equal or better quality to other establishments, then her gender might actually work to her advantage in the sense that it is somewhat unique.

Now, what I really look forward to is the day that I see a woman gyoji in the sumo dohyo. Now THAT would be monumental. Alas, I don't think that will happen in my lifetime!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'll go.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most Japanese women's hands are as cold as ice.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

She has purposely avoided trying to look the part. Her store’s motto is “fresh and kawaii,” or “cute.” Flyers depict her as a doe-eyed manga character. Chidui’s assistant, who switched from working as a tour-bus guide two months ago, wears “manga” buttons on her outfit.

not sure this is the way to make the point.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LOL. Women can do the same job as men. It's just old crazy myths about the hand temp.... I'd rather a woman's hand on my food than a man's hand that could have been um....scratching his "goods".

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sorry, I'm old school. When I go out to counter sushi, it's got to be (the more proficient) men making the sushi. This will never change. Male sushi chefs will always dominate this profession.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

"Well, hopefully this will debunk old obnoxious chauvinist superstitions."

It won't, though -- at least not in the higher level restaurants, where the chauvinist/xenophobic pigs still thrive.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My favorite sushi restaurant has a female chef. She's just as good as the two men she works alongside, and frankly, I enjoy chatting with her more than them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Wc626,

I understand what you are saying, but I would never say never.

Truthfully, this is not unique to Japan and sushi masters/chefs. If one looks at the restaurant industry worldwide, there are still only a limited number of Michelin-starred restaurants run by female chefs.

That said, the number is growing and as it does, attitudes will change.

With regards to sushi restaurants, particularly in Japan, I certainly don't want to go to any novelty establishment. I want to go where I can get quality sushi and service in a fairly traditional setting. Would I object if the sushi master/chef was a woman? No way. Not if she had made her reputation and the establishment was one I would visit.

But, it is going to be an uphill battle for women to break into this profession, particularly in relation to upper end, traditional establishment. I would imagine what would happen is that the daughter of some sushi chef will plead and beg with him to let her apprentice under him. And he will test her will and desire before agreeing. And will then treat her more harshly than any man that would work for her. And through this process, she will emerge as a serious sushi chef/master.

My guess is that it will easily be at least 20 or 30 years before we really see this happen. And one of the drivers may actually also be the changing demographics of Japan and the shrinking population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I go out to counter sushi, it's got to be (the more proficient) men making the sush

Got to be? More proficient? And pray tell how can you possibly know that a woman isn't just as or possibly even MORE proficient than a man?

Playing to stereotypes, and it's thinking like this that exacerbates the problem rather than helping overcome it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Even within that effort, there is no crackdown on specific industries barring women, said Takaaki Kakinuma, an official at the government Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office. What are they doing then? What is the point of such a bureau? More window-dressing?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wc626 - old school ? Even if you're old you should try to accept changes offering benefit to many.

And this passed down discrimination against women in the sushi profession borders on the bizarre in this the age of enlightened minds. Tradition, folklore & parochialism amount to nought in this.

Geez - next we'll be hearing old schoolites declaring males can't nurse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Geez - next we'll be hearing old schoolites declaring males can't nurse.

WHAT?!?! They can?!?! lol!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Takaaki Kakinuma, an official at the government Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office

Pity it wasn't a Takako representing the Gender Equality Bureau

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But there is more to sushi than just squishing a piece of raw fish and rice together.

Do any of these female sush chefs have licenses to go out to Tsukiji Market and bid for cuts of maguro? Have any of them ever manually sharpened a 1 meter (some longer) long maguro bocho? Or used one at Tsuji Market to cut a fresh slab and take it back to their sushi bar?

She has purposely avoided trying to look the part. Her store’s motto is “fresh and kawaii,” or “cute.”

Heh-heh . . . You see! This is NOT what sushi is all about. Give me the "itamae" anyday.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Very unprofessional.

Cute is fine (we're in Japan after all) but long hair hanging down over my food is not.

Even elementary school kids serving school lunches have their hair better controlled than this gal does.

I don't care whether the person who makes my sushi is male or female, but I do want people who are preparing food for me to have their hair out of the way so it won't get into my meal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whoever thought girls don't belong in the kitchen is crazy

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Female Sushi chefs indeed!! What next? Female Sumo referees?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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