Sushi chef training (Itamae shugyou)

The chef of Japanese restaurant or Sushi restaurant are called “Itamae”.
“Ita” means a counter. “mae” means ahead.
The chef’s top is called “Hanaita”.

Japanese cuisine that Itamae cooks in front of the customer.
Therefore, failure and cheating are not allowed. Itamae is very hard work.


Today, I  talk about “Itamae”.

Sushi chef class


I have heard the pot person is the best class in western chef, right?

In Japan, the pot person is second class. You know Japan is Samurai’s country. So, the best class is the cutting person.
Itamae usually cut foods or make Sushi only.


They are classified as follows.

①Handyman (Oimawashi)
②Arrangement (Hassunba)
③Grill and fry (Yakiba, Ageba)
④Stew and steam (Nikata, Mushiba)

I explain 5 section.

①Handyman (Oimawashi)


It begins with the preparation of cooking utensils and cooking meals for workers. Their  jobs are washing dishes, clean restaurant and kitchen, preparing ingredients and so on.

They can learn the best time of year to experience seasonal Japanese ingredients and price.

②Arrangement (Hassunba)


Here they will master the basics of serving Japanese food. They do not cook foods for customers though.

I already told you that when you eat Japanese foods, you have to use with your 5 senses.

So, the arrangement is very important for Japanese cuisine. All dishes arranged means something.

③grill and fry (Yakiba, Ageba)


Since the taste changes depending on the condition of the fire, it is necessary to cook foods with the best technique skillfully.

④Stew and steam (Nikata, Mushiba)


“Nikata” means the pot person. They are a charge of making menu also.

They have to understand not only their own taste of restaurant, but also Japanese cuisine deeply.

Because they make dashi soup stock, which is the basis taste of the restaurant.



Itamae is the top of the kitchen where they cook Sashimi, Sushi or cutting foods.

There are approx 20 types of kitchen knives for Itamae.

There are not many different types of pots, just different size, right?
Therefore, the cut person is the best class in Japan.

The Chef except for Sushi or Japanese restaurant’s chef are not called as “Itamae”.

Generally speaking it takes 10 years of training. It’s a hard job, and many people quit in a few years. 

Moreover, it was said women and foreigners are not for sushi chef until recently… Actually, have you ever seen Japanese woman Sushi chef? I have never seen them! The sushi world is exclusive😰

(Izakaya is OK. The small restaurant that is managed by woman is often called “koryouri-ya”)

If you want to be a sushi chef, there is a school , Sushi Academy in Tokyo. This school is very good! You can have a short lesson. Of course, there are English course, too.

Anyway,  Enjoy Real-Sushi life with Sake, when you go to Japan!

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