he video: A Toyko sushi joint has annoyed Japan's food traditionalists by hiring inexperienced young women to work as sushi chefs. For centuries, Tokyo's sushi bars have been the preserve of (exhaustively trained) men, with fathers passing the craft down to their sons. At Nadeshico Sushi, the female chefs train for just two months. Are these women making strides for their gender, or just being exploited as sexy gimmick hires? (Watch a video about the restaurant, below.)
The reaction: Women just aren't suited for sushi making, says Keiji Mori, the owner of a modern Japanese restaurant in Tokyo, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal. "The temperature of a woman's hands is higher, and when you're handling fresh fish, this isn't good." Mariko Sanchanta, in another Wall Street Journal piece, calls the warm-hands rationale just one of many "bogus" excuses — from menstruation to makeup-wearing — that "the male-dominated world of raw fish" is using to keep women out. That said, I'm not sure Nadeshico Sushi's motive is gender equality, says Margaret Hartmann at Jezebel. The restaurant only hires female chefs between 18 and 25, and they turn out sushi in cute animal shapes. This is just a ploy "to lure businessmen and tourists." Judge for yourself:
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