Shuichi Inoue, the "Sushi Maestro," gave a beautiful, heartfelt presentation at TEDxKyoto last year about his passion and dream to spread the innovative approach of his art to the world. Yesterday, tragically, Shuichi's life was cut short by a careless driver on a Japanese freeway. All of us in the TEDxKyoto community are in a state of shock right now. Both Shuichi and I presented in the same session at TEDxKyoto last Fall. I met him in the green room back stage. He was gracious, humble, and all smiles. Shuichi was the nicest guy you could ever meet. I can't believe he's gone.
I'm sorry that I have no elegant words to describe Shuichi or the pain that we all feel today. All I can do is share one of his last recorded moments below. I hope the whole world can see his TEDxKyoto talk. Please watch the video below. English subtitles are available (thanks to the TEDxKyoto team), so please click the CC button if they do not display automatically.
Japanese culture is deep and wide with many lessons for us all, and Shu was on a mission to share it with a creative spirit and an open, humble heart. The last part of his TEDxKyoto talk above touches on his dream and his optimistic approach to the future. These words are hard to hear today. Our hearts are terribly heavy, but I hope that if you have any interest in Japanese culture and the art of sushi that you'll pass Shu's TEDxKyoto video on to others and share his work and his innovative spirit. Here's a bit of his talk:
"I want to continue on a journey to share Japanese culture to the world through sushi and also hope to use what I have learnt from being exposed to other cultures in evolving sushi further. Sushi has infinite possibilities. With the ingredients that will bring out these possibilities, with Japanese traditions, and other cultures of the world, I will continue my adventure. I hope to shed light on these hidden values, mold them into shape, and deliver them to you. People have yet to realize the possibilities and attractiveness hidden in sushi. It's not only about consuming fresh fish, but being able to experience the crystalization of painstakingly acquired skills and art in one single moment. This moment, I believe, is the greatest luxury one can experience and is essentially, the aesthetics of sushi. I'm lucky to have been born in a well off country like Japan and I'm truly happy I am able to be a sushi chef. I have embarked on a journey to continue to fuse diverse things, challenge Japan and the world, and I hope to continue to shed light on hidden possibilities, shape them, and deliver them to people all over the world."
Here's the video from his website which was shown in the presentation.
Our hearts are with you and your family, Shuichi.
• Sushi Maestro web site.