Sushi's Rise in Popularity


Edo-style sushi was born from the plentiful supply of Matazaemon's vinegar and success of Yohei's nigiri-sushi. Not only Yohei's business, but many other sushi stands also enjoyed vigorous success, until a historical event ironically "curbed the appetite" for sushi.

Around 1833, a great famine swept Edo, and with the reformation of the Tempo Shogunate (a military government), luxuries were banned, resulting in attacks on sushi shops. Since popular businesses were aimed at, the phrase "It's good if they've been caught" became a way to evaluate the quality of sushi.

At any rate, the winds of change blew once again, nigiri-sushi became even more popular, and its reputation spread from Edo to the countryside. By the beginning of the Meiji Period (1868), after he had been in business for 40 years, Yohei's nigiri-sushi had "arrived" on a national scale.

Without the creativity of Yohei Hanaya, the "father" of nigiri-sushi, coupled with the foresight of Matazaemon Nakano, who produced the essential ingredient of vinegar, the current "culture" of sushi might never have been born.

From the time these two men of excellence met and shared their talents, the history of sushi has developed over 170 years. As the taste of sushi has evolved, it has gained converts all over the world. The history of this modern "sushi boom" is directly tied to that of Mizkan.