We met this very nice Japanese gentleman from Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture during our tour at the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery and learned new information about Kansai.
During the course of the conversation we ended up the discussing some of the inventions that the people of Kansai did for the sake of convenience and business.
Osaka, one of the cities in Kansai area, is considered as the merchant city or even the kitchen of Japan. If you ever visit Osaka or have visited the place you will noticed that there are really not that many cultural places unlike its neighbor Kyoto or Nara BUT when it comes to food , you can be sure you can find it in Osaka.
So let’s go back to one of the items at the title of this blog: Kaiten Sushi or Conveyor Belt Sushi. Not surprisingly , this interesting way of eating sushi was invented by a local of Osaka Prefecture: Yoshiaki Shiraishi( 1914-2001). He opened his first Kaiten Sushi: Mawaru Genroku Sushi in 1958. Now, you can find it all over Japan, and each store has its different style and gimmick to draw in customers.
I could not find any proof and the question of who started the Karaoke is still in question but according to him the idea of Karaoke machine was started by somebody from Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. I love Karaoke, and so to whoever invented it is a genius :).
I don’t know the name of the gentleman from Nishinomiya but T and I are hoping to meet him again somewhere, who knows we might get some more history lesson from him 🙂