International Sushi Day

Greetings, Superheroes and sushi lovers alike! Today we celebrate International Sushi Day! As many of us in the VV family love this cuisine, we felt we should celebrate it with you all! So go break out your chopsticks and sushi menus as we talk about the origins of this holiday, and about how you can celebrate it along with us!

International Sushi Day was created on June 18th, 2009. It was started by a social media trend on Facebook. What was the reason for honoring sushi on this day? Why, simply because its an immensely popular cuisine of course! Like many trends on social media, International Sushi Day day grew quickly. However, sushi hasn’t always had its massive following.

A Sushi Roll game board showing different sushi and their scores. Also showing multiple colorful dice up at the top, and two tile piles for swap and re-roll.
Sushi Roll layout after drafting and scoring.

Sushi as we know it originated from a dish called narezushi, which is salted fish stored in fermented rice. Narezushi was created in Southeast Asia as well as Japan, though it would be the latter who ultimately developed narezushi into modern sushi. Sushi itself has been around since the 1600s, and would include fish and vegetables wrapped in rice (and also many variations of these ingredients). Following Sushi into the 1800’s was a dish known as nigirizushi (now commonly shortened to nigiri) that included a small half sphere ball of rice with a slice of fish on top. Sushi was then spread out all over the world, due in great part to the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923. The people of Japan had to leave their home, and brought with them their cultural gifts and delicacies.

The USA would soon after get its first introduction to sushi in Little Tokyo, located in Los Angeles, California. This time period also introduced the world to the now famous California roll. It became hugely popular in the US, and many Hollywood celebrities were found eating this. Today, we have so many types of sushi rolls and different ways to eat these ingredients of sticky rice, meat, and/or vegetables. We also have board games based on this cuisine! Now let’s talk about how you can celebrate International Sushi Day!

A41BC4B1-FC7C-40BC-AC00-9266753ABBFA.jpegFirst, get sushi! Many sushi restaurants have embraced International Sushi Day and have started offering specials or other incentives to get people to come in and order their sushi. Check your favorite sushi place’s social media, website or if nothing else, it doesn’t hurt to stop in to ask! Alternatively, find a fun recipe and make your own sushi at home! You can also watch movies or documentaries, or follow my lead and play a sushi themed board game!

The games I chose to celebrate International Sushi Day this year were Sushi Roll and Sushi Go Party. Sushi Roll and Sushi Go Party originated from the original card game, Sushi Go! The sushi itself I purchased from a Central Florida chain called Sus-hi Eatstation which offers create-your-own rolls, bowls and burritos, along with excellent sides. If you’re in the Central Florida area, I highly recommend them as their food is delicious! They’re also vegan, gluten-free, and budget friendly. Also the environment within the restaurant is fun, inclusive and creative. They make it known that every ninja is welcome! Now back to the board games.

A Sushi Roll Play Board with some of the scrabble combos covered with the colorful sushi dice. Also displaying Swap and Re-Roll tiles.

Sushi Go! Is a quick card game in which players draft sushi cards to complete specific sets and get dessert cards to score the most points. After 3 rounds the points are tallied up and the player with the most points wins. Sushi Roll and Sushi Go Party then add even more to this fun game series.

Sushi Roll’s additions to the original game include drafting dice over cards, conveyor belts on which to place your sushi dice, a play mat for each player and the menu token which allows you to re-roll the dice you receive. This game also lasts for 3 rounds and is a lot easier to play if you are using your hands to lift sushi instead of chopsticks! Or if you have additional side dishes to your sushi order. As an aside, with the pandemic still happening outside, the dice are very easy to disinfect after playing.

Score and game board with various menu titles and two wooden pawns shaped as saki bottles along with the two player drafting deck cards and the large pile for the next two rounds to be dealt.

Sushi Go Party’s additions expanding on the base game by adding more dishes to choose from, and lets players customize it more. The rule book has a list of all the varieties (new and old) which is very helpful! For the layout above I used dishes that are seen in the original card game so I could teach the game to my friend. I do suggest that you use silverware or chopsticks when eating your sushi so you don’t get any oil or food on the cards. These games are priced affordably, ranging from $9 to $22 and can usually be found at your local game store, major department store, or on Amazon. Each of these games can be played with 2 to 5 players. Sushi Go-Party! However, can be played by up to 8 players, which makes it even more fun to celebrate this day with your socially distant friends!

Before celebrating International Sushi Day, I always found myself playing these games and then craving sushi immediately afterwards so combining these two ideas worked perfectly. Another cool aspect about this day is that you can introduce your sushi loving friends to a fun, easy to play board game as well!

Let us know how you will celebrate this day and what you think of these games in the comments below. And of course, happy International Sushi Day!


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