Japan certainly has a formidable culinary history, but the no.1 edible invention has got to be sushi (寿司). It’s undoubtedly the most well-known Japanese food—a trend that started in the late 1960s when the whole world began to fall under the sushi spell.
Sushi Fun Facts
Before it was all posh and fancy, sushi was actually more of a fast-food. The dish appeared around the 8th century and was typically consumed by the lower classes. Adding vinegar and seasoning the rice was a great way to prevent the rice from turning bad, while topping the rice with raw seafood, nori, egg or veggies made a quick snack for hard-working laborers.
Most famous sushi styles include nigirizushi (握り寿司), “hand-pressed sushi”, makizushi (巻き寿司), “rolled sushi” or norimaki (海苔巻き) “seaweed roll”, and chirashizushi (ちらし寿司), “scattered sushi.”
Proud of using your chopsticks like a ninja? Well, we hate to disappoint, but eating sushi the proper way actually involves… your fingers. Even in the most formal settings.
There’s sushi. And then there’s Hokkaido sushi.
A regional sushi competition in Japan wouldn’t be fair. Hokkaido would win every time since Japan’s northernmost prefecture is well known for its high-quality rice and easy access to fresh natural seafood.
On top of that, according to a recent installment on Nippon TV, Hokkaido Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant Set the Bar High! (北海道の回転寿司はなまらハイレベル) Hokkaido’s sushi chefs are also VERY generous with portions compared to those in the rest of the country.
— 釧路あるある (@khshiroaruaru) November 24, 2019
北海道民の方へ。右を基準に考えてはいけません。= To the people of Hokkaido. Don’t assume the one on the right is the standard point of reference.
Don’t. Just don’t.
The Japanese language offers quite a variety of phrases to express interdiction, from a super polite “please refrain from doing this, pretty please?” to a casual “just do not.”
Here’s a quick list for you to review the basics:
- Verb te form + はなりません / はならない (very polite)
- Verb te form + はいけません / はいけない (polite)
- Verb te form + はダメだ (casual)
- Verb ending with ちゃ+だめ (very casual, usually reserved for children)
|握り寿司||nigiri zushi||thin slices of raw fish served atop sushi rice|
|巻き寿司||maki zushi||sushi roll consisting of fish, veggies, and rice, rolled up in seaweed|
|海苔巻き||nori maki||sushi roll consisting of fish, veggies, and rice, rolled up in seaweed|
|ちらし寿司||chirashi zushi||a base of sushi rice topped with various ingredients served in a bowl|
|回転寿司||kaiten zushi||conveyor belt sushi restaurant|
|なまら||namara||very much, extremely|
|北海道民||hokkaidou min||citizen(s) of Hokkaido|
|方へ||kata he||to the people of|
|基準に||kijyun ni||on the basis of, as a standard|
|考える||kangaeru||think, consider, assume, take for granted|
|はいけません (はいけない)||ha ikemasen (ha ikenai)||don’t… (very polite)|
|はなりません (はならない)||ha narimasen (ha naranai)||don’t… (polite)|
|はダメだ (ちゃだめ)||ha dame da (chya dame)||don’t… (casual)|
For more on learning Japanese
- Learn Japanese with our original study materials on GaijinPot Study
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