Japanese sushi chain goes too far with wasabi

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Binge's picture
October 05, 2016
Ichibazushi in Osaka has been accused of "wasabi terrorism".

It's no secret that a traditional Japanese chef might take offense to diners adding extra wasabi to their sushi—to the chef, it implies that the diner may not trust his/her judgment.

However, a Japanese chain named Ichibazushi turned the tables recently when it started serving sushi with too much wasabi. This was in response to patrons who ordered extra wasabi to go with their meals. However, the move backfired when it sparked reactions from tourists who have low tolerance for the condiment.

After coming under serious fire in the Japan Times and being accused of "wasabi terrorism", the restaurant issued an apology stating that their intentions were innocuous and that they did not mean to discriminate between Japanese and non-Japanese people.

Binge verdict: It's clear that the restaurant was trying to make a commercial move by overcompensating for anyone who might like extra wasabi in their sushi. This could be attributed to inefficient or overconfident staff at the most. For people to go around making strong claims on social media about this being malicious, or labeling it a "hate crime", is a bit of a stretch. Let's not forget to consider that Japanese cuisine is on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which leaves little doubt that the Japanese take their food more seriously than most. If anyone were to be the first to worry about bastardising sushi, it would be the Japanese themselves.