Calgary Sukiyaki House owner Michi Oyama doesn’t think it’s a good idea to take unaware visitors to a sushi bar “if you don’t explain ahead of time, because they order tuna and it comes out raw.”

“Then they eat it and it may seem fishy or sour and then the hot mustard coems and when they put it in the mouth and it goes right to the nose and eyes and they start crying.”

“Totally they don’t like it.”

Oyama strongly believes “forewarned is forearmed” and makes sure all customers at his sushi bar receive two pages of tips and instructions.

The problem for the neophyte is knowing the right thing to do; for example, to dip sushi rice side down into a plate of soy cause is like pouring ketchup over the hamburger bun instead of the meat.

Using chopsticks for sushi is like using a spoon for spaghetti. The Japanese prefer to use their fingers.

The notion that sushi pieces are “bite-sized” is a myth. It is impossible to eat the whole piece without gagging. However, the Japanese do not consider it proper to bite off a piece of sushi and return the rest to the plate.

A compromise is to bite off half and hold the rest poised near the mouth to pop it in at the earliest convenience.

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