Sashimi and sushi are the best known ways to serve raw fish. The word “sashimi” used to mean any sliced up food, including vegetables and tofu. The food is cut into bite-size pieces, either with the grain or against it, always with the aim of getting the best taste. Sashimi is cuisine made with knives.
We have a saying, kasshu hoju (cutting is the most important, cooking comes second). We could interpret this to mean that sashimi is superior to cooked food. Because cutting is so important, we have a wide variety of knives to choose from. They are our most important tools, and I sharpen mine until I could shave with them. One of my daily routines is sharpening knives.
Sushi is now popular worldwide. Hand-molded sushi consists of two parts—an easy-to-handle clump of rice seasoned with vinegar, and a topping of raw or cooked seafood. Years ago, sushi developed as a food that was treated to keep it fresh, but today the hand-molded version is rice with some topping. The vinegar is a preservative and helps prevent the ingredients from deteriorating.