A Boy Named Sushi

A few weeks ago, I was telling my wife Lee, I was getting bored (again). Not with her, I never get bored of her, but with the shoes and gifts I was designing. I knew from experience it was a temporary state, but I also knew I needed to create something new, something difference, but something of which I was familiar.

Though sushi has been a part of civilization longer than one might imagine, it was not always in the current form in which we are used to devouring. It started as a simple “fast food” dish in 2 A.D. in China and was an excellent way to preserve food (there was no refrigeration then). In the early days chefs fermented rice, placed raw fish on the rice, threw the rice out, and ate the fish when hungry.

By 7 A.D. sushi made its way to Japan, where seafood is a staple entrée. However they started making the rice a “side order” with the fish. About 1600, Matsumoto Yoshiichi of Edo (now known as Tokyo) began experimenting with flavors such as rice vinegar and selling this “new dish”. By doing this, they created the world’s first “fast food” and it was more often than not eaten immediately.

Below is a wonderful short YouTube video by my very talented wife Lee Hiller London.

The majority of “sushi” eaten in American restaurants is nigiri (finger sushi) and California rolls, almost no resemblance to the original Chinese food known as “sushi”. An ethnic food that swept the world by storm was developed yet further by the artful experimental restaurant entrepreneurs of north American creating a fusion of food and art.

So not all, but a good deal of the history of my favorite food was familiar. Also familiar was my limited knowledge of design; that is, the best design often reflects the vision of a culture; a modern trend if you will.

Though pizza, hamburger, etc all have their “beauty”, I was not inclined or motivated to purvey the beauty of thousands of mg of trans-fat artery-clogging foods.

But sushi was and is a different story. I started with shoes (mostly womens) but now make mens too. I named the store ShoeShies.com. Then I started designing aprons, mouse pads, mugs, postage stamps, key chains, caps, and just about everything else showcasing dishes of sushi and sashimi and its all available now at Shoeshies.com. I am loving doing it and it has “recharged” me to continue to make cartoon products for Londons Times Cartoons and my love quote Shoes That Amuse…and eat more sushi.

But now, when all the sushi places are closed at 2am and I have a hunger for it, I can look at the sushi mouse pad next to my pc and drool…or drool on my shoes; knowing they will lead me to the nearest sushi bar….tomorrow.


One Comment

  1. Posted May 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    WOW cool sushi history and beautiful items! You are on a roll with these gorgeous designs… a California Roll :o )
    Love your DW Lee xx00xx

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