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Osaka sushi chain apologizes for using too much wasabi in foreign customers' orders

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Pretty amusing story here. So let me get this straight... There's loads of tourists hitting this popular sushi joint since Osaka has been absolutely swamped with tourists. The chefs, frustrated and struggling to cope and getting all the odd requests from foreigners decide in unison with other chefs to attack them with too much wasabi? After the laughs though a chef should never tamper with the good much less try to hurt someone with spices. That's just begging to get fired imo

10 ( +14 / -4 )

It insisted that the wasabi-laced sushi was a response to many foreign-born patrons ordering extra portions of the fiery green paste used a condiment for the raw fish dish

Fiery? Cripes, stretching things here with the vocabulary. Wasabi is hardly "fiery".

The chain did, however, acknowledge that some of its chefs had slipped copious amounts of wasabi—reportedly sometimes twice as much as usual—into unsuspecting customers’ food.

Copious? Over exaggerate much? Look up the word, double is hardly copious.

“That is no apology; it’s an excuse. What they did was a hate crime,” @sakeuchi317 wrote on Twitter.

The story was on the news last night and it sure did not seem like it was an apology, just an excuse.

-11 ( +9 / -20 )

Geez people really do enjoy spending time looking for racism in anything don't they.

6 ( +26 / -20 )

Kuribo1OCT. 04, 2016 - 07:09AM JST Geez people really do enjoy spending time looking for racism in anything don't they.

"Many foreigners ask for extra wasabi" -> "All foreigners will be given extra wasabi" is pretty clearly a racist train of thought. I mean, it's not America-style racism where someone gets shot or flaming crosses end up in their yard, and personally I think calling it "wasabi terrorism" is a bit ridiculous, but it is racism.

Other news sites that have covered this story have included chefs being caught making slurs about Korean customers in Japanese, mind.

19 ( +26 / -7 )

I don't eat sushi, so correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it true that a lot of foreign visitors to Japan ask for the wasabi because they are not familiar with the fact that it is already under the fish here?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

. I mean, it's not America-style racism where someone gets shot or flaming crosses end up in their yard, and personally I think calling it "wasabi terrorism" is a bit ridiculous, but it is racism.

No it's not American style racism, but crap like this happens in just about all walks of life here on a daily basis.

Just one of the things people have to get used to living here. No Japanese (ethnic) person will openly admit it, and will find all sorts of excuses to say it doesnt happen, but it does.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

reportedly sometimes twice as much as usual

I saw this on the news yesterday, there was way more than twice as much in many of the examples they showed. Proper sushi will have a dot of wasabi in it. The sushi they showed on the TV had more like a spoonful. I would say at least 8 times as much as would be in the sushi in a normal sushi shop, though maybe this place piles it on normally. But it was a ridiculous amount.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Pride truly goeth before a fall, it's too bad no lessons have been learnt in the course of 70 long years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'll bet the laughed their heads off at the end of the work day..... "did you see that lady practically fall off her stool when she ate the whole thing in one bite"! "It took her 10 minutes to recover"! Idiots... this was probably more about some sadistic chefs than anything else. The company should face a shut down penalty for a few weeks.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

we gave them more without checking first,

Omotenashi in action, folks.

Some non-Japanese request extra wasabi so we give ALL non-Japanese extra wasabi. After all, if One Japanese wants X, then ALL Japanese want X. Right?

33 ( +33 / -0 )

I have often seen SOME foreign customers asking for extra wasabi at sushi merry go rounds, but to assume ALL foreigners then want extra wasabi isn't necessarily racism, more like stupidity!!

Now if so idiots slather the stuff on when foreigners are eating, they should be sternly warned or fired if they are being a-holes!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Yeah, riiiiight.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It insisted that the wasabi-laced sushi was a response to many foreign-born patrons ordering extra portions of the fiery green paste used a condiment for the raw fish dish.

What this story fails to mention is that the "foreign-born patrons" in this case were Korean and Chinese.

It looks to me like this is a case of the manager getting fed up with customers from those countries and targeting them with his anger, quite likely fueled by a heavy dose of bigotry. At least one "Westerner" who was visited the restaurant left a positive review.

A news station reported that the manager said something along the lines of "All these Korean and Chinese customers are always saying 'give me wasabi, before eating their sushi.' Here is the Japanese from a screenshot of that quote (韓国人とか中国人とか「お寿司を食べる前からワサビをくれ、」という客ばっかりなんですよ).

14 ( +14 / -0 )

You forgot the screenshot

0 ( +2 / -2 )

many foreign-born patrons ordering extra portions of the fiery green paste used a condiment for the raw fish dish.

That would be me... and I'm neither Korean nor Chinese...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You forgot the screenshot

@Strangerland

Sorry about that. For what it is worth, here it is: https://i.redd.it/e5oecebgl6px.jpg

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They've been running this on the news for the past five minutes or so. Some people are calling it わさびテロ! haha

Anyways, at first I thought that the shop was being unreasonable and prejudiced against foreigners, same as most people here. But watching on the news, they are showing foreign customers, in that foreign shop, asking for huge amounts of wasabi, putting amounts that I would never believe on their sushi. The foreign customers they are showing are saying they like large amounts of wasabi. And in retrospect, when my foreign clients come to Japan, they generally often use way more wasabi than Japanese people do.

So in this case, I think it's very possible it was a case of 'omotenashi' - the shop trying to match their expectation of what foreigners want. I think the problem was one of implementation - they should have either asked, or added additional wasabi on the side. The problem is that they packed it in large amounts into the sushi without asking. That's fine for someone who likes large amounts, but for someone who only wants a small amount, it's way overboard.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I don't see a problem with this at all. I enjoy wasabi just as much as the next person. The only thing I don't enjoy is the extra large heaping amount that is usually underneath ebi. Of all the sushi that's the one I usually watch out for. It is true that they don't expect it to already be included in the majority of the sushi perhaps that's why they ask for it beforehand and think that Japanese chefs would accommodate them every single time.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I am one of those people who orders extra wasabi. I love the stuff. However, I order it on a separate small plate 小皿。Having said that, there is no excuse for this kind of behavior. You don't assume that someone would want exorbant amounts of wasabi because they are not Japanese. And the way the manager tried to justify this crap is just ridiculous.

The chain did, however, acknowledge that some of its chefs had slipped copious amounts of wasabi—reportedly sometimes twice as much as usual—into unsuspecting customers’ food.

why not just offer it to them on a separate dish?

The result was unpleasant for some guests who aren’t fans of wasabi.”

Unpleasant? How about downright awful?

That is no apology; it’s an excuse. What they did was a hate crime,”

Agree. If it can be proven that there was malicious intent. Which would be very difficult.

わさびテロ!

Oh come on!!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Textbook Omotenashi, as borscht says: blinkered predetermination of customers' "needs."

10 ( +11 / -1 )

They obviously should not be putting excessive amounts of wasabi in foreigners sushi, but it is quite funny. "You want more wasabi you say! Well here you are!"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Here's the picture of a spoonful of wasabi on one piece of sushi.

http://netgeek.biz/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/sijouzushi_wasabi-2.jpg

The problem here wasn't just the prank against foreign patrons from Korea and China. But it was all the racist slurs thrown at the customers, rude service, and discriminatory behavior from the staff of this restaurant. If they didn't want these customers, they could have just hung a sign saying "no Koreans, and no Chinese allowed".

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Thinking about it, it makes little logical sense if a chef was quoted as saying:

"All these Korean and Chinese customers are always saying 'give me wasabi, before eating their sushi.'

That means the customers who ACTUALLY wanted extra wasabi would still be asking for it, making this 'service' meaningless.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

How do you eat sushi with extra wasabi on a separate dish? Decompose the sushi, put extra wasabi on rice and assemble them again? Just curious.

By the way, when an Indian goes to an Indian restaurant in Japan, the chef serves extra hot curry to him/her rather than watered down curry prepared for Japanese patrons. The same is true with Thai restaurants in Japan.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

How do you eat sushi with extra wasabi on a separate dish? Decompose the sushi, put extra wasabi on rice and assemble them again? Just curious.

Add soy sauce to the wasabi and dip.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Add soy sauce to the wasabi and dip.

That's what most people do, don't they? But what this restaurant did was hide globs of wasabi between the fish and the rice. The unsuspecting customers took one bite and you can guess what their faces looked like after that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

CH3CHO

You can place an extra helping on top of the neta. That is what I do when I buy sushi from a local superstores that restrain from placing a decent amount for the fear of families with small children eating the sushi and a monster mother barging in afterwards.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sioux ChefOCT. 04, 2016 - 09:56AM JST

Add soy sauce to the wasabi and dip.

I see. But it is considered a bad manner to add soy sauce to wasabi, even though many Japanese do so.

http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2142327826561557101

混ぜちゃダメ?醤油にわさびを溶かすのはマナー違反らしい

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

How do you eat sushi with extra wasabi on a separate dish? Decompose the sushi, put extra wasabi on rice and assemble them again? Just curious.

You can place an extra helping on top of the neta

That's how I do it. Another way is to mix the wasabi with soy sauce in the 小皿and just dip the sushi in.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In area. I live in USA, sushi. are served without wasabi and customers can have wasabi on separate dish. At all you. can eat buffets, while I get piled. caviar side. dish, Americans get piled wasabi. They drink plenty of ice water.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The problem here wasn't just the prank against foreign patrons from Korea and China. But it was all the racist slurs thrown at the customers, rude service, and discriminatory behavior from the staff of this restaurant.

This is the first I've heard about this, and I've read about the story in English and Japanese, and watched about it on the Japanese news. Can you give more insight as to where you got this information from?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

'Would you like some sushi with your wasabi, sir?'

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Sounds to be like they had a loose cannon or an internal prank getting out of hand and are trying to damage control a little before the SJWs start to cry wolf. :p

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

If someone put as much wasabi in my sushi as the picture in Papi's link above, I'd just assume they wanted trouble and go table-flipping ape.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wasabi is nice, just couldn't get enough of it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As much as I adore wasabi, that's just plain mean.

Good if you could mention the restaurant name, I don't want to go there, knowing the kind of people that work there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is the first I've heard about this, and I've read about the story in English and Japanese, and watched about it on the Japanese news. Can you give more insight as to where you got this information from?

It's all over Korean internet forums, including this article which describes what happened. Koreans who went that restaurant posted a warning about this restaurant in a Japan travel related forum, about how the waiters routinely refer to Korean customers as "chon" (a derogatory slur against Koreans), many Koreans there came forward and said it happened to them there too. They described sushi's hidden with plastered wasabi which was unedible. And when they complained to the restaurant, the answer they got was that "many Koreans love wasabi, so that's what they got, so what's the problem?" attitude. That's how this controversy got started

But of course the Japanese media all conveniently left out the most important details of racist attitude of the staff of this restaurant, abusing their customers. Instead the Japanese press turned it into a wacky news about a restaurant trying to be accommodating to foreigners which went wrong.

If you read Japanese, you can google translate this Korean into Japanese, and it should be 99% accurate.

http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0010970204&code=61121111&sid1=soc

When

12 ( +13 / -1 )

It seems like an excuse for racism to me. It's not likely they would put more condiments on without a request because of the cost. They are more likely to put less on.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

http://netgeek.biz/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/sijouzushi_wasabi-2.jpg

That's an outrageous amount of wasabi. I'd be very unhappy if I was served that without specifically asking for it. If the restaurant didn't didn't want Korean or Chinese customers or their seemingly strange demands for more wasabi they should have put up a sign. This seems a very passive-aggressive way to deal with the situation.

it was all the racist slurs thrown at the customers, rude service, and discriminatory behavior from the staff of this restaurant.

You've got to have a link for that. Any evidence for this claim?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oops... the name was mentioned. Now I know where to avoid racist chefs (well, one place, anyway)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You've got to have a link for that. Any evidence for this claim?

Already posted the link above. You can easily google translate it to Japanese.

Of course it was racism, but Japanese media doesn't want to face up to it so that's why you're asking for a link.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

But of course the Japanese media all conveniently left out the most important details of racist attitude of the staff of this restaurant, abusing their customers. Instead the Japanese press turned it into a wacky news about a restaurant trying to be accommodating to foreigners which went wrong.

@Papi2013

The spin on the story presented in the news article above (and by the official company response) leaves the impression that this was merely a case of kind intentions of the well-meaning manager and his hapless restaurant staff gone wrong — cultural misunderstanding.

That narrative certainly reeks of disingenuous intentions to say the least, particularly after reading what diners wrote about their experiences (snickering among the restaurant staff, bigoted language, etc.). A bit more journalistic integrity is certainly warranted with this story.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You know it's ridiculous when some Japanese netizens are considering this a 'hate crime' and 'racism.'

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

What bothers me is that instead of doing this as a "thanks for coming", they did it as a punishment to foreigners. I surely don't want to come to a place where I can have a spoonful of wasabi - which I don't like at all - just because some other foreigners asked for some more of it, based on my westerner appearance or my accent when trying to speak Japanese when ordering.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Senato,

For sure.

Watch this Japanese media news, doing damage control for Japan Inc. Notice they interviewing unsuspecting Chinese tourists who say they love lots and lots of wasabi (which justifies the restaurant's motives). But the Japanese reporter didn't bother to show those Chinese tourists, how much wasabi we're talking about here Would their answers be the same if they knew their sushis could be plastered with tablespoon full of wasabi? I think not. And for some head scratching reason, the same reporter bringing up the fact that Pyeongyang, North Korea also consume Japanese wasabi too (oh yeah, that justifies and explains everything - rolling my eyes).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMNlZ7BrcKU

It certainly looks as if the Japanese press instead of just telling the truth that this restaurant was being bad, is instead making excuses for the restaurant for some reason. Like I said, it only got Japanese press attention after this story went viral in Korea, and the Japanese press decided to get involved to do damage control. They only decide to concentrate on the wasabi story, and totally left out the accusations of racial slurs, jokes, and rude behaviors thrown at Korean customers. Totally missing in the Japanese news stories. Why? Racism is everywhere, and certainly this kind racist stuff may not happen just in Japan. But it's another thing for Japanese media try to excuse it because of national pride issues.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Papi2013OCT. 04, 2016 - 10:50AM JST

You've got to have a link for that. Any evidence for this claim?

Already posted the link above. http://news.kmib.co.kr/article/view.asp?arcid=0010970204&code=61121111&sid1=soc

I have read your link. It was just hearsay and no evidence, such as,

"There is a comment on the Internet that"

"One netizen said that"

"There is an argument that"

I hope people here actually read Papi's link.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Funny thing is, it's probably not wasabi, but green colored horseradish with a little wasabi mixed in so they can call it wasabi.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mean spirited xenophobia on the part of the chefs, and very unprofessional too, they should be fired. The owners of the shop need to stop making excuses for their behaviour.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

what so big deal about it? some people like to make a small issue into a big problem. therapy recommended for those.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

It certainly looks as if the Japanese press instead of just telling the truth that this restaurant was being bad, is instead making excuses for the restaurant for some reason. Like I said, it only got Japanese press attention after this story went viral in Korea, and the Japanese press decided to get involved to do damage control. They only decide to concentrate on the wasabi story, and totally left out the accusations of racial slurs, jokes, and rude behaviors thrown at Korean customers. Totally missing in the Japanese news stories.

This makes me so angry, that yet again the Japanese media 1) is being completely biased, 2) actually omitting very important information and trying to make it seem a non-issue.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

i have used wasabi terrorism against any friend of mine who ever visited me in Japan. a cheap laugh and usually goes over well. don't forget natto terrorism.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I expect this to make headline news around the world in the next few days.

The world media will never pass up an opportunity to sensationalize these sorts of incidents to 'prove' how 'racist' and 'xenophobic' all Japanese are.

Mark my words.

By the way, how often do we hear of these types of incidents happening? This is the first time, actually. Why can't people grasp that this was an isolated incident by this particular store? Why the need to then go off on tangents about all Japanese people and society?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Am I the only foreigner here that is not so keen on wasabi? I mean I can use it but prefer actually not to! It kills the taste of the sashimi for me. And not very pleasantly hot - not my taste.

Usually when families with kids are going to such restaurants they often are asked if they want wasabi for the kids. More often kids prefer and are served wasabi-less sushi!

Reading trough this story it is really odd for me so many foreigners like extra wasabi!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Am I the only foreigner here that is not so keen on wasabi?

Nope. I can't stand it. At the sushi shop I regularly go to, they know me, and don't put add it, without my needing to say anything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ichibazushi is a chain store with 7 outlets. Basically it is about one chef and not the entire chain.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Nama Sakana taberemasuka? Do they ask?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is a huge problem with the idea of changing the service offered unilaterally simply because the customer is (or is perceived as being) a foreigner. This is a very extreme example, but the concept is very deeply rooted, unfortunately.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I tell my friends that order extra wasabi and saturate the food with soy to just mix the wasabi with the soy sauce and drink it with a beer. They do not appreciate sushi in my book. They smother it with salt and spice.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It must have been a slow sushi day at the shop and the chefs thought some Osakan motenashi might be a bit of a laugh....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did you know:

When an Indian goes to an Indian restaurant in Japan, the chef serves extra hot curry to him/her rather than watered down curry prepared for Japanese patrons. The same is true with Thai restaurants in Japan.

The Sichuan and Hunan cuisines of China are very spicy and hot. Japanese people may go to these restaurants to try authentic Sichuan or Hunan food. It would be ok for restaurants serving this cuisine to change their food and make it less spicy for Japanese customers, since some Japanese can't eat spicy food.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It must have been a slow sushi day at the shop and the chefs thought some Osakan motenashi might be a bit of a laugh....

Just a question since I don't eat sushi, love wasabi, but since it is a chain store, are they still professional "Chefs" or just 20/30 somethings getting kick?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just because one or two foreigner customers ask for more wasabi they just assumed that every foreigner would prefer more wasabi just like how some restaurants insist on shoving an English menu in front of your face because you don't look Asian. This wasabi scandal represents a perfect example of the many annoying things non-japanese face in Japan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

FizzBitOCT. 04, 2016 - 03:07PM JST

Before answering your question, what are the definitions of a chef and a 20/30 something? What is the fine line that separates them?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just a question since I don't eat sushi, love wasabi, but since it is a chain store, are they still professional "Chefs" or just 20/30 somethings getting kick?

The chef they interviewed on the news this morning was at least 50, but they didn't show his face, so it's hard to say for sure.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While it's pretty stupid I wouldn't think there was racism involved. That's just a cop out. It's just stupidity or ignorance in my humble opinion.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Before answering your question, what are the definitions of a chef and a 20/30 something? What is the fine line that separates them?

Professionally trained in a school or by a master Chef.

Thanks Stranger.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

hate crime.. lmao... Whine over excessive wasabe.. grow some nads please

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Just a continuation of the contempt that sushi chefs show for their customers- you should be able add the amount the wasabi to your own taste- chef 101 allow the customer to tailor to their tastes as much as possible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ha aha haha no wasabi, no party!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope the same establishment pours a full mug of beer in the same spirit. I'm sure many gaijin ask for that - I certainly do. You'll need the beer to quench the fire in your mouth.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most of the people I know do not like it as much as myself, but I pile on the ginger and wasabi.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

B class sushi chain where the employees have not been trained to show pride in their work and where every patron, irrespective of nationality, skin color or political color is treated with respect.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But it is considered a bad manner to add soy sauce to wasabi, even though many Japanese do so.

It is NOT bad manners at a kaiten sushi! Don't let ANYONE tell you differently.

If you go to a high class sushi joint, where sitting down probably costs a hundred bucks, and you mix wasabi in your soy sauce, yeah that's bad manners, as the chef will probably want to filet you with his knife for figuratively slapping him in the face. He probably spent a lot of time picking that soy sauce and you just destroyed it by mixing wasabi with it,

There are also sushi chefs that think fish should not be dipped into soy sauce either, as if he felt that soy sauce was needed he would have added it already.

So it's bad manners to dip your fish into soy sauce alone too! But many Japanese do it!

There are also sushi chefs who think that wasabi should be eaten without soy sauce too! It destroys the "flavor" of the wasabi by putting soy sauce on it! If he wanted you to eat it with soy sauce he would have put on himself.

So it's bad manners too to dip your wasabi laden fish into soy sauce too. But many Japanese do it.

Ever wonder why so many Japanese don't follow their "own" made up manners? Because they don't have the money to spend on high class sushi places that would "teach" them what every Japanese person is "supposed to know" but, but, but.....how are they supposed to know it's bad manners if they don't pay to go to those places?

Silly me that's what bloggers are for! Spread semi-truths and make everyone believe it's a FACT for an entire country!

NOT. It is NOT bad manners to mix wasabi with soy sauce. Oh another thing, the wasabi typically served at a kaiten sushi it NOT truly Japanese wasabi, not enough it grown and produced here to cover the entire world market. It's western horseradish or seiyou wasabi mixed with added colors and flavors. Read the package on a tube of Japanese wasabi at yur local supermarket. if you dont believe me.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Firstly, this is not racism - it appears to be a generalization or stereotyping of foreigners wanting extra portions. And seriously, would you complain if the waiter gave you extra shrimp with your meal? Extra BBQ with your fries (or Ketchup for the uncouth ;)= )? I love extra portions. IF the customers didn't want, it can be removed. No one forced them to eat the extra.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

IF the customers didn't want, it can be removed. No one forced them to eat the extra.

The wasabi was hidden inside the fish and rice. And the portions were so large it was inedible. It wasn't like they put the wasabi portions on the side, which would not have been a problem.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Yubaru

I thought it's kaiten Zushi? Kinda like ni sen, san zen, etc?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YubaruOCT. 04, 2016 - 07:52PM JST

But it is considered a bad manner to add soy sauce to wasabi, even though many Japanese do so.

It is NOT bad manners at a kaiten sushi!

GaijindesuOCT. 04, 2016 - 09:11PM JST

@Yubaru

I thought it's kaiten Zushi? Kinda like ni sen, san zen, etc?

Yubaru, the sushi restaurant in question, ichibazushi is not a kaiten sushi.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

the sushi restaurant in question, ichibazushi is not a kaiten sushi.

Nice try, but you made a blanket statement and I just let people know it isnt as you wrote and ichibasushi is not a high class, top end, sushi place either.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just had sushi last night but not in Osaka, thank goodness. The sushi chef added just a trace of wasabi between the sashimi and the rice of the nigiri sushi I ordered, and included about a teaspoon's-worth of wasabi on the side in case I wanted more. This seems to be the sensible thing to do rather than dumping the wasabi on the sushi in advance. In my case, I add only a smidgen more to the sushi and the majority of the "on-the-side" wasabi remains unused.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you go to a high class sushi joint, where sitting down probably costs a hundred bucks, and you mix wasabi in your soy sauce, yeah that's bad manners

The places high class places I've been put the wasabi in the sushi for you (though I get it without). So there isn't any reason to mix it in the soy sauce.

I thought it's kaiten Zushi?

It is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Firstly, this is not racism - it appears to be a generalization or stereotyping of foreigners wanting extra portions.

That's only if you believe the restaurant's excuses... and also only if you accept the pro-Japan spin that the mainstream Japanese media are putting on this story.

After all, no Japanese food business would ever tell a lie now, would they?

And, of course, the Japanese media are so admirably unbiased when it comes to matters that involve both Japanese and foreigners.

So indeed... no, no. no... a Japanese person would never make a joke about or disparage or behave badly to foreigners in a restaurant or other commercial setting. It's simply beyond belief.

And if foreigners are saying otherwise, well, they must be mistaken or else deliberately lying to besmirch the good name of Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So it was all extra service in consideration of foreigners' tastes? -- What a load of BS. They did it without being asked, and never gave patrons a choice by simply putting extra wasabi on the side instead of hiding it in the sushi. It shouldn't even be necessary to refute this transparent lie, but I guess some people are bound and determined to see this in a positive light / defend Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

only if you accept the pro-Japan spin that the mainstream Japanese media are putting on this story.

They weren't putting a pro-Japan spin on the news I watched today, they were calling it わさびテロ. It was fairly balanced, they talked about how it wasn't good, but they also showed foreigners who said they liked lots of wasabi, and were eating pieces of sushi with huge amounts of wasabi.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Wasabi is. Usually put a little amount on tiny. plate, pour tiny amount of Japanese soy sauce mix. Makizushi is finger sushi. Then nigirizushi. You use. Two fingers to get sushi peace, dip and'j ut in your mouth to eat. Green. tea follows.Not discrimination. Just manner.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

but they also showed foreigners who said they liked lots of wasabi, and were eating pieces of sushi with huge amounts of wasabi.

That's fine, but then why aren't they serving their sushi drenched in soy sauce? They don't - they put it on the side. Slathering wasabi on sushi - but only for foreigners' orders - means that they are changing their default recipe based on the nationality of the customer regardless of the customer's actual wishes. That's targeting and when you target with something that is bound to cause discomfort, that's targeting with ill intent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

they also showed foreigners who said they liked lots of wasabi

There's a lot of faked content on Japanese TV...

People who are led into saying the things the producer wants them to say, editing to fit a narrative, yarase in general, planted people...

Frankly speaking, I believe very little of what I see on Japanese TV, simply because so often the narrative has been decided before the filming has even started... and that was told to me by a Japanese TV producer.

In this case the narrative could have been to support the restaurant's excuses as actually being true... oh look, the foreigners DO love loads of wasabi...

IMHO the restaurant's excuses are bogus.

Did the TV program thoroughly investigate the veracity of the restaurant's claims?

I doubt it.

Instead they showed foreigners eating loads of wasabi.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is just silly. Especially when there are so many other examples of blatant racism to shine a light on in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Regardless of what, as a Japanese I do not tolerate what the sushi restaurant did.

I demand the restaurant be closed. I don't want to hear excuses. They disrespect visitors and disgrace sushi.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Regardless of what, as a Japanese I do not tolerate what the sushi restaurant did. I demand the restaurant be closed. I don't want to hear excuses. They disrespect visitors and disgrace sushi.

Disrespecting visitors, I agree, sushi, well sorry I disagree, that's going a bit far.it's just food and all, whether it be 100 yen per portion or 10,000 yen, end up in the same place.

The underlying problem, basically hinted it, and not directly stated, is the overt racism and bigotry that many foreigners unknowingly (for the most part) face when visiting Japan..

If you don't know it's happening to you, is it still a problem? The answer is of course, yes it is. Since it's about food, and in particular one place, it's easy, excuse me, easier, for Japanese themselves to comment about and feel anger and embarrassment (maybe) for how the "foreign visitors" were treated, yet if it happened everywhere in the country, people would find a way to deflect the conversation and make excuses for the actions, and find a way to blame the foreigners for not "knowing" better manners.

This, in my opinion, is just a start. With tourism on the rise, the Olympics coming, etc etc etc, incidents like these will increase, and the government is going to get antsy, because they want the image of Japan to be friendly and welcoming to any and all. Yes, for the most part Japanese are very friendly and welcoming, on the surface, and the Japanese people are very proud and sadly in somethings, have a very thin skin and low tolerance for criticism.

This incident is not so isolated as some people may want to believe, little things (ok to some this wasnt little) like this happen all the time, and often get explained away, "Oh there was no intent to hurt" "Oh we were thinking of the foreigners wishes" "But YOU don't like this, or that, you arent Japanese" "You can't understand, you aren't from here" along with a host of other obfuscating responses.

Japan is not going to change for foreigners, not in my lifetime anyway. But I am ever hopeful!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

isn't necessarily racism, more like stupidity!!

It does usually come in pairs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is somewhat unbelievable. Oh, wait.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it was all a prank by some TV show to see how foreigners might react to loads of wasabi. There must be footage of these customers the moment they bite into a piece, but they probably won't release it now that there's this uproar.

Fact of life - there's racism nearly everywhere. Yes, I know, it doesn't make it right, but you know, just knowing that lets me let this kind of stuff roll off me like water on Teflon.

If I was at that sushi place with the racist "chef," I would have sent the sushi back and said, "Don't put too much of that green stuff in there." If they make a stink, I'll call the manager over and tell him/her to give it a try. Then I would tell the manager, "I'm Batman."

I've had my fare share of 'incidents' in J-land - being refused an apartment by an owner who doesn't want to deal with a foreigner, seeing signs at bars in Golden Gai saying if you don't speak Japanese then don't come in, being stopped by police to check ID...

But you know what? This country has the best sushi in the world (not counting said racist establishment). And that sushi is sometimes at rock-bottom prices, so that more than makes up for the inconveniences - at least in my book.

Oh yeah, the people are OK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@tiger

just like how some restaurants insist on shoving an English menu in front of your face because you don't look Asian.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No Not enough at all. Doesn't sound sincere at all. We are ONLY talking about Sushi, not Kimchi, not Frid Rice. You are ultimate responsible for institutionalizing this act. Whether you had ill intent or not does not matter. Need to apologize to very customers from Korea.

Let's erect Wasabi statue in front of your shop until the day the shop closed down.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A few years ago I went to a hamburger restaurant with my Japanese girlfriend. We both ordered exactly the same thing, hamburger with fries. When our food came her plate obviously had twice as many fries as mine. I said something to the waiter and then my girlfriend got too embarrassed and she looked at me with an angry face so I had to drop it because otherwise she would have a go at me nonstop for being rudeNow, . Whenever I experience an injustice due to being a foreiger, if I'm with Japanese I say nothing but if I'm on my own or with other foreigners I really give it to them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What I meant to say before I pressed the send" button too early...

tiger

just like how some restaurants insist on shoving an English menu in front of your face because you don't look Asian.

Better than having a brick shoved in your face because you do look Asian .Looking at you, Liverpool.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@papi2013: If they didn't want these customers, they could have just hung a sign saying "no Koreans, and no Chinese allowed".

Yeah, right. And the comment section here would have been (at least) 3 times longer than it already is.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Thanks for the posters who have filled in the story beyond the standard excuses and foreigner blaming from the Japanese media.

Referring to diners as "chon" and iyagarase with wasabi. Kokusaika and omotenashi indeed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some people are calling it わさびテロ!

More like wasabi-sabetsu, or wasabi-hara.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All people must be kind to people , regardless of what nationality they are.In any country, being nasty is not good for human race.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it was all a prank by some TV show to see how foreigners might react to loads of wasabi. There must be footage of these customers the moment they bite into a piece, but they probably won't release it now that there's this uproar.

And you're basing this on... what? A show pranking customers doesn't make sense for the restaurant because the restaurant's reputation is the thing being damaged the most if they're going to treat their customers like this. Can you imagine some restaurant owner saying, "This is going to make many of my customers upset, BUT I GET TO BE ON TV!" Yeah. Not happening.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I read some Japanese comments under this particular issue and... They seem to cheer on the chef, praising him that it was a good move and the customers deserved it.

I didn't quite understand this until I read that the customers were Korean.

Jesus, when will they drop anti-Korean sentiment? And vice-versa?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Yubaru Thank you for your comment.

I didn't mean to say that it was not racism. didn't mean to belittle the issue by saying "disgrace to sushi". It is racism and you are right that there is racism in Japan and it will never go away. Wanted to clarify that first.

Following is never meant to justify anything Japan but It's how I deal with racism.

In the early 80's I was the only one "Jap" in the small city in Texas, Midland. I was a teenage exchange student from Japan. I did experience racism there. Some people acted like I didn't exist when I was in front of them. I heard the words like knives from some of them. Some people offered me a dinner that was fish feed, saying it was Japanese food, and laughed.

I handled it by saying to myself that I'd never allow myself to be a "victim" of racism, I never accepted racism against me. Because I thought taking it as racism was like accepting the idea of racism myself. Instead I took it as simply that they were stupid and I was not. This was possible because most people in Midland were so nice to me. There was racism in Texas but they were minority. Most people were very happy to see a Japanese for the first time in their life. And I took it that those American racists were sub intellectual minority and only disgrace to America. That kind exists in everywhere in the world including Japan.

That sushi shop, they disgrace sushi, or Japan. I still demand they close their business.

Anti-korea feeling exists in Japan and anti-Japan feeling exists in Korea. I don't like Korean government. I don't like CCP. But that's politics. That has nothing to do with my relationship with my Korean or Chinese neighbors or tourists in my hometown Fukuoka.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's intentioanlly offensive to say the least. If the chefs had the well intention, tehy could have easily place the extra wasabi on the side.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wasabi is good for your health.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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