Video from the Sushi's Perspective

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I'm a big fan of kaiten-zushi, a form of sushi restaurant in which patrons sit at a bar around a conveyer belt. On the conveyer belt, endless small plates of sushi proceed past the diners -- which tends to put the diners in a sort of zoned-out mode, just staring as infinite food arrives. When a diner sees something he likes, he grabs the plate. At the end of the meal, his plates are counted and a total cost tabulated (plates are typically color-coded by price, ranging from $1 - $3 or more). My local kaiten-zushi place also has a competitive eating competition called "Plate Champion," in which diners win prizes for consuming huge quantities of sushi, and stacking up the plates. Proud photos of guys with their plate-stacks adorn the walls. (I, sadly, am not a Plate Champion.)

Several videos on YouTube show the keiten-zushi process from the sushi's perspective. It's a simple idea -- just put your camera on a plate, put it back on the conveyer belt, and watch as it takes its trip around the belt, through the kitchen, and back to you. Here's one such video making the rounds (from Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan):

Watch as people stare at the camera, make the Peace sign, smile or frown at it, ignore it, and so on. My favorite part is when the camera enters the kitchen and is temporarily removed from the conveyer belt as kitchen staff discuss what to do with it. One commenter on Boing Boing translated the kitchen portion of the video. Check out the link for the full translation; here are my favorite bits:

Kitchen staffer #1(glasses)- "Huh? What's this? There's a camera going round." Other lady off camera- "what's wrong?" 3rd lady, laughing- "hey- it's ok on a blue plate! (as if she's saying cameras are a blue plate special item, lol)"

Walking with plate- "Coffee jelly for #30!" RINGS BELL: "We're in trouble." Sushi chefs come. Lady: "This was going around and taking video..." Sushi chef- "Ah, this, it's probably a customer's. Umm, it's a foreigner." Lady- "they put it out (on here)?" Chef- "Yeah, they tried putting it out, to take (a video). Of the, er, of the scenery."

More keiten-zushi videos are on YouTube.

(Via Waxy.org, via Boing Boing.)

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March 5, 2009 - 8:04am
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