Sushi Terrorism

It seemed like a good idea at the time. As so many things do until the practical issues never imagined during the idea phase start to materialize. Those “practical” issues usually involving the inherent assholery of human nature. Yoshiaki Shiraishi certainly didn’t seem to take that into account when he invented the concept of conveyor belt sushi. And perhaps he never would have if he hadn’t found the phrase “good help is hard to find” to be so true. Hell, any help at all for that matter. For it was the difficulty of staffing his restaurant that led him to the infomercial type sentiment, “There’s gotta be a better way!” And there was. Theoretically…

But again, as most things actually put into practice, the idea phase underestimates the extent of human assholery. A “phenomenon” that has evolved and expanded over the centuries, particularly with technological advances to assist in “the spread.” In Shiraishi’s era, assholery was limited to more large-scale varieties, like, say, developing the atomic bomb. A real fear of it manifesting throughout the world during the five years Shiraishi spent perfecting his idea, finally able to open a new restaurant with the conveyor belt in motion in 1958. Called Mawaru Genroku Sushi, it existed in both a “civilized” time and place (Higashiōsaka-shi). Maybe that’s why Shiraishi never had to deal with the problems of modern restaurant proprietors. The ones who took his idea and further bastardized it (as is the way with ideas that are increasingly and more bombastically monetized—see also: the Pam and Tommy sex tape getting distributed on the internet).

Perhaps such proprietors have presently received their punishment in spades for “building on” Shiraishi’s brainchild. For, if anyone wants to fully fathom how low humanity has sunk, they need look no further than what’s been branded as sushi terrorism. The name might suggest, to some, rigging sushi plates with bombs, but no, it basically involves performing all manner of sordid acts against the various plates revolving on the conveyor belt that Shiraishi helmed. Most egregiously (and unsanitarily) of all is licking the sushi on the plates and letting them pass to another person who has no awareness of their fresh contamination. This led an innocent diner like Botan Sato to be hospitalized a couple days later after realizing he had contracted Covid-19, having no inkling that the source of his infection was his pre-licked sushi. Another malicious “go-to” among sushi terrorists includes spreading wasabi all over the dish in question and blending it enough so that the consumer it was intended for has no clue what’s about to be unleashed into their mouth right at the moment they think they’re actually going to enjoy something. In an instance like this, one is taught that it’s increasingly foolish to believe that paying for an item will result in anything even remotely resembling satisfaction.

So committed to the act of sushi terrorism are most youths that they’re even willing to put their own health at risk by, say, licking the holes at the sides of soy sauce bottles—known breeding grounds for bacteria and other assorted unseen infecting particles. Was it youth that made someone so brash? So, well, cruel? The confidence provided by vitality? An arrogance that was only reinforced by a society that held youth up as some kind of god to worship. But not in Japan… where most of these terrorist acts against sushi were occurring. No, Japan had always prized the elderly. Or at least treated them less like shit than other countries. This type of decorum, in short, was not acceptable in Japan. It was something one would expect to hear coming out of America or that other criminal island, Australia.

Unlike those places, however, Japan wasn’t one for bending over to the whims of the public. Instead, swift and immediate action was taken to prevent further incidents of such baseness. Such disgrace. And thus, in a scenario reminiscent of how more literal terrorism ruined flight travel for everyone after 2001, new “precautions” were taken—new regulations implemented. For example, in addition to restaurant owners placing cameras in the ceilings above diners’ tables (just another way to be documented on CCTV), it would now be required that all patrons bring their own utensils from home to be doubly certain that no tampering (read: licking) could occur. Truly, a nadir in society had occurred on this day. When even the Japanese had become so uncouth as to require such “nanny cam”-level implementations.

Although man is constantly complaining about being monitored—about the police state we have all found ourselves in thanks to the behavior of the few affecting the many—has he not been directly responsible for putting himself in this position? For proving himself incapable of going unsupervised lest he spread his iniquity wherever he goes. And there is nothing more iniquitous than fucking up someone else’s food. It’s a “microaggression” with as much intent as the aforementioned atomic bomb. But some felt that the word “terrorism” was too overblown, and that it minimized “actual” terrorism, which had political motivations as opposed more nihilistic ones. But truly, what other word can be used to describe such all-out contempt for one’s fellow human?

Haruto Nakajima, the owner of Nakajima Sushi, continued to ask himself this question as he watched the latest footage of a group of nefarious youths grabbing at plates that didn’t belong to them, licking the sushi and then putting it back on the conveyor belt. He thought that all of the new implementations would work, would most assuredly stave off such behavior. Instead, it only seemed to serve as an additional torture for him to see it happen in real time and a double dare to those that restaurant owners like him would seek to “oppress.” They were being invoked rather than dispelled. Tell someone they can’t do something, and that’s all they want to do. Psych 101-inspiring fuckers.

Haruto, whose own teenaged son had told him not to be so “tight” about the whole thing, was starting to make sense to him. Maybe he should have just let the “craze” “blow over” until they got bored of making #sushiterrorism trend on TikTok, therefore inspiring so many others to do the same. Their brazenness was terrifying to Haruto, who could never have imagined himself or anyone of his generation so flagrantly summoning the attention of police authority—for many who documented themselves engaging in these acts of sushi terrorism were subsequently found and arrested, complete with legal proceedings that certain chain restaurants were adamant about pursuing. But Haruto wasn’t one of those fat cat chain restaurants with the resources to pursue such legal action. He was losing business every day as a result of having no such recourse. Nakajima Sushi was becoming known as nothing more than a “hotbed” for contagion, with roughly eleven customers, like Botan Sato, reporting the restaurant for serving unsanitary food. As though the unsanitariness was the fault of Nakajima and not “youthful folly.”

When one takes away a man’s livelihood, they’ll be quite surprised to discover what he’s capable of in the aftermath. And with his business in shambles, Nakajima was capable of plenty, namely the expressing of his rage against the “harmless” youths that had ruined his entire chance for survival. Destroyed his reputation to enact their social media fancies. Well, Fuck. Them. That’s what Nakajima muttered to himself as he completed work on a homemade bomb he fashioned in the kitchen of his restaurant, months after this “trend” had initially commenced. Since lunch hour was still a desperate enough time to attract some clientele (usually riffraff that wasn’t put off by the horrifying rumors about contaminated sushi), the youths had trickled in to perform their gambit.

Haruto placed the small device at the center of one of the plates and surrounded it with what he believed was his best, most sumptuous sushi to date. Even though, sadly, it was soon to be decimated by an adolescent’s tongue again, Haruto was comforted in the knowledge of how that tongue, in turn, would be blown to smithereens. This, he would show them, was the true form of sushi terrorism. Something this fucking pussy generation didn’t even know how to execute without rendering it as half-assed and annoying rather than legitimately impactful.

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