Some of the terms are used only by sushi chefs and not appropriate for the customers.
Green Tea at the beginning. Something to welcome the guest.
Soy Sauce, from to its dark color
Wasabi. Because when you eat too much, it will make you cry.
Aniki (older brother) and Oto-to (younger brother)
Older fish and fresher fish. Referring to, not person, but ingredients at the sushi bar.
Refers to whole or fillet fish without head.
Normally for a quarter cut of tuna.
Ten-mi (the root meat)
Top part of tuna meat, that is close to the bones.
Usually refers to marinated Tuna. When sushi was invented about 250 years ago, Zuke was one of the techniques used to make tuna last longer.
Hikari mono(the shinny ones)
Fish as Mackerel, Sardines and Pike Fish.
Gari (from eating sound onomatopoeia)
It comes from the sound it makes when we eat it: “gari gari.” Pickled ginger
Shari (Buddha’s skull, or rice washing sound onomatopoeia)
Because the shape or rice resembles Buddha’s skull. It is also said it came from the sound of rice washing, “shari shari.” Sushi Rice.
Tekka (Iron Red)
Gambling places used to called Tekka. Maki rolls were invented for quick and easy snack for the gamblers. Tuna Roll.
Kappa (mystical folklore creature)
Cucumber Roll. Cucumber’s shape resembling to the head of Kappa. Cucumber is Kappa’s favorite food.
The live fish served at the sushi bar such as shrimp.
Comes from the pronunciation of Kanji “玉”Egg.
Geta (Japanese wooden slippers)
Sushi plate. When looked from the side, the wood plate looks like Geta.
Originally Russia word meaning “Fish egg.”
The first owner of Kyubei in Ginza is said to be the inventor.
Green tea at the end of sushi. Came from the board game term meaning finish.
Kaz Matsune is a founder of Breakthrough Sushi, Two Places Technologies, , investor, entrepreneur, and author of four books including How I Became A Sushi Chef.
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