I decided to take Japanese class my senior year in high school, strictly based upon my affinity for Sushi. I guess I thought I’d be able to saunter into any ‘ol sushi joint and order in Japanese, wowing not only my dinner date, by perhaps the server and chef as well? Big dreams.
With that said, it should be no surprise I decided to take a sushi class when my friend, Deanna, proposed a night of Make making.
We all introduced ourselves and added a sentence or two as to why we were there (or if you were the girl sitting across the room, or the girl a few seats down, you added 17 sentences, AND QUESTIONS, to every covered topic). “Um. I like activities,” I answered. It’s true. I like to try new things. I wanted to say something about experimenting, but figured it would come out sounding inappropriate.
Within a few minutes, we were off making sushi (with instruction). “My roll is bigger than yours,” Deanna joked. Thank God she’s not a dude. But in all seriousness, we pulled off some pretty fantastic rolls.
The chef asked, “What surrounds the sushi roll?” I answered “Love.” He was going for “Nori.” Deanna shook her head at me (I was 75 percent joking). I watched him carefully select his ingredients. He consciously arranged it and rolled it with care, to ensure it pleased not only his palette, but his aesthetic sense as well. There INDEED seemed to be a lot of love surrounding the sushi roll.
He explained how it’s tradition to say “Itadakimasu” before eating. I looked for various translations online. I remembered the word from my days in Japanese class, but failed to remember the literal definition. “I humbly receive (this meal).” It’s tough to find a literal translation (hence the problem with translating and losing the languages original beauty, meaning, etc.), but you get the sense.
If we all took a moment and humbly received that before us, whether it be food, information, or a simple smile, life would be a little richer. We’d give ourselves the space needed to relish, absorb, and appreciate the efforts of all our teachers, past and present…the obvious teachers, and the not so obvious teachers…