Sushi Through the Ages



9 Questions

What is narezushi?

Who is believed to be the inventor of modern sushi, particularly nigiri-zushi, in the early 19th century?

What is haya-zushi?

When was raw salmon first consumed in Japan?

When was the first sushi conveyor belt in Australia introduced?

Where is Leeton, New South Wales, located?

What is the origin of the Japanese name 'sushi'?

What is the Chinese character '鮨' associated with?

Where was the California roll believed to have been invented?


The History of Sushi

  • Narezushi, the earliest form of sushi, was created in Japan around the Yayoi period, where fish was fermented with vinegar, salt, and rice.

  • During the Muromachi period, people began to eat the rice as well as the fish, and during the Edo period, vinegar began to be used instead of fermented rice.

  • Hanaya Yohei is believed to be the inventor of modern sushi, particularly nigiri-zushi, in the early 19th century.

  • The Japanese started eating three meals a day, and rice was boiled instead of steamed, which changed the Japanese cuisine.

  • During the Edo period, haya-zushi was developed, which is a type of sushi that is mixed with vinegar and doesn't require fermentation.

  • Many types of sushi, such as chirashizushi, inarizushi, makizushi, and nigirizushi, were invented during the Edo period and are a type of haya-zushi.

  • Raw salmon was not consumed in Japan before the late 1980s due to the risk of anisakiasis from marine parasites.

  • Funazushi is a rare type of narezushi that is aged for up to four years.

  • Makizushi or norimaki, rice and various ingredients rolled with nori, appeared after the invention of the sheet form of nori seaweed around 1750.

  • Sushi was already being served in the United States by the early 1900s, following an influx of Japanese immigration after the Meiji Restoration.

  • The Kawafuku restaurant in Little Tokyo has been credited with being the "first true sushi bar" in the United States.

  • The California roll is believed to have been invented in Los Angeles by substituting a slice of avocado for the seasonal toro in a traditional maki roll.The History and Etymology of Sushi

  • The California roll was invented in Los Angeles by a sushi chef named Ichiro Mashita in the 1970s.

  • The first sushi conveyor belt in Australia appeared in Queensland in 1993, when Sushi Train opened its first restaurant.

  • Australia is a major source of rice used in sushi, particularly Leeton, New South Wales, which is the headquarters of SunRice.

  • Sushi is believed to have been introduced to Australia between the early 1970s and the 1980s.

  • David Bowie's contract rider in his 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour included sushi to be on the menu, which was rare and exotic in New Zealand at the time.

  • St Pierre's, a nationwide food franchise in New Zealand, began serving sushi in 1993, after originally being established as a seafood delicatessen in Wellington in 1984.

  • The Japanese name "sushi" is written with kanji (Chinese characters) for ancient Chinese dishes that bear little resemblance to today's sushi.

  • The first use of "鮨" appeared in The Face and Hand, the oldest Chinese dictionary believed to be written around the third century BC.

  • The term "醢" refers to a fermented meat made from salted minced pork, and "鮨" is a salted, minced, and fermented fish.

  • The Chinese character "鮨" is believed to have a much earlier origin, but this is the earliest recorded instance of that character being associated with food.

  • "鮨" was not associated with rice.

  • The California roll was also invented in Vancouver by Hidekazu in 1974 using barbecued salmon.


Do you love sushi and want to learn more about its fascinating history and origins? Test your knowledge with our sushi history quiz! From the earliest forms of narezushi to the modern-day nigiri-zushi and makizushi, discover the evolution of sushi throughout Japan's history. Learn about the first sushi bar in the United States and the introduction of sushi to Australia and New Zealand. You might even be surprised to find out which famous musician had sushi on their tour rider in the 1980s

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