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The Story of Sushi in Japan

by Jack Guy

Dec 14, 2019

© Dmitry Kuznetsov | Dreamstime

Trends / Food & Drink

Contrary to popular belief, the term sushi doesn’t, in fact, refer to raw fish.


Instead, it’s a dish of vinegar rice served with a topping, which can include raw fish. Originally used as a way of preserving food, sushi has since made its way around the globe and become immensely popular.


The form of sushi many people are familiar with is, in fact, namanarezushi, in which the rice is eaten. Previously, the rice had been thrown away and only the topping eaten. It is thought this early sushi originated in China around the fifth century BC. The modern form of sushi has been known in Japan since around the year 800.


Makizushi, the rolls of rice and fish enclosed in seaweed, fist appeared in the late 18th century. Nigirizushi, small slices of fish on top of vinegar rice, dates from around 1800. Originally it would have consisted of a whole fish laid out on a bed of rice, rather than the bite-sized morsels we eat today.


Since becoming popular in Japan, sushi started to travel. It came to the United States in the early 1900s, with the first sushi shop reportedly opening in Los Angeles in 1906. It has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon, available in many countries around the world.





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