How Sushi Went Global

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Summary: How sushi went global

In this article on Sushi's global popularity, Bestor has focused not just on sushi alone but on Japanese cuisine in general to show how Japan has been influencing American taste. The author first presents am extraordinary auction scene where bluefin tunas are exhibited for potential buyers, most of whom have arrived from Japan to purchase quality tuna. Many will even depart from their home country with bluefin tuna the very next day. The import of tuna from United States to Japan has increased tremendously in last few years, thanks for ever-increasing popularity of Japanese cuisine and demand for high quality fish back home. While Bluefin tuna may sound like an unlikely item for globalization, it has certainly played a huge role in reversing the global trends from East to West.

Tuna's popularity in Japan is not something we should even be discussing since it should be taken for granted. Fish with rice has always been high in demand and campaigns for tuna are run on large scales. There is even a mascot which appears in Tuna fish advertisements in Japan symbolizing the changing trends in tuna's popularity around the globe. On Oct 10, tuna day is commemorated in Japan coinciding with the day when Tuna first appeared in Japanese literature.

While Tuna has always been popular within Japan, its demand outside of its home county has been a result of slow calculated process that trained western appetites and tastes to become more accepting of eastern cuisine. It started after the Second World War, to be very precise even though North American readers had been introduced to Japanese cooking first time in 1929. However for many decades after that, sushi's recipe and in fact most Japanese food recipes were delicately altered to suit the refined tastes of North Americans. Raw fish on rice was not something to be presented to the uninitiated. It was usually replaced with some cooked seafood like shrimps to make it more acceptable to the Americans. However things changed in 1970s as global trends changed and Japan became a big business hub. This coincided with a shift in American tastes as they skirted past red meat and opted for healthier food like fish, rice and vegetables. New Japanese food outlets appeared on American landscape and sushi became a truly global food.

Japan has thus always been the most eager buyer of tuna. However in 1970s, its fish business suffered due to some coastal regulations and Japan looked towards foreign suppliers to meet growing demand for fish at home. This led to an increase in imports of tune from USA. But when Japanese economy suffered a serious setback, these suppliers did not have to worry about sales. That is because demand for fish went up rapidly in North America and US bluefin industry took off in 1990s. Japanese food meanwhile became a symbol of class and sophistication in America.

The article also discusses the whole procedure of how bluefin tuna is caught and goes on to explain how sushi has managed to remain a Japanese dish exclusively even with Americans witnessing an exponential growth in sushi bars around the country. I loved this piece of writing because it takes into account the factors that are responsible for the growth of something that was primarily eastern. It was a welcome change from usual pieces on globalization that deal with popularity of American products around the world.[continue]

Cite this Document:

"How Sushi Went Global" (2005, March 17) Retrieved May 26, 2016, from

"How Sushi Went Global" 17 March 2005. Web.26 May. 2016. <>

"How Sushi Went Global", 17 March 2005, Accessed.26 May. 2016,

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