Fuka Sano, the other female apprentice at Onodera, said she didn’t think too much about the lack of women in the field when she decided to become a sushi chef.
“I guess women think a sushi chef is a man’s job because there are so few women,” the 18-year-old said.
But she was determined to enter the profession, after a formative trip to London.
“I’m sorry to say this but sushi at chain restaurants in Britain didn’t seem appealing!” she laughed. She hopes to improve the standards of Japanese food overseas.
And Sano wants her food to be judged on its own merits, without regard for her gender.
“I want them to come (to the restaurant) for food,” she said, not “because I’m a woman.”
Her fellow apprentice Iwai hopes women like her are helping change the industry.
“It doesn’t matter whether the chef is a man or woman,” she said.
“I hope the fixed image will disappear and there will be more options for women.”
“It’s really a fun job.”
PICTURES BY KAZUHIRO NOGI, BEHROUZ MEHRI/afp