On Friday, December 13, 2019, The Japanese Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food was awarded in Tokyo to Mr. Toshiaki Toyoshima, Founder of Sushi Gen in Los Angeles..
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries initiated the Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food in 2006. It is awarded to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the introduction of Japanese cuisine, Japanese food and other Japanese agricultural and fishery products overseas.
In the fiscal year of 2019, a total of five people were awarded. https://www.maff.go.jp/e/export/award/index.html
After working for six years at a local Japanese restaurant “Tokyo Kaikan” in Los Angeles since 1973, Mr. Toyoshima opened a sushi restaurant, “Sushi Gen” at Little Tokyo in 1980.
His sushi is not fusion sushi, but traditional Edomae style where special attention is paid to food materials. His traditional Japanese sushi has enjoyed popularity, and the restaurant is known as a consistently busy restaurant.
At Sushi Gen restaurant, he actively uses Japanese food materials and serves fresh fish and sake from Japan.
In 2015, he received the Commendation of the Consul General by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles for his contribution to promoting Japanese cuisine and carrying on Japanese traditional food culture.
In 2019, Sushi Gen was selected as the “Best Sushi” restaurant by the local newspaper, “LA Downtown News”. The restaurant has applied to register as a “Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Store,” and adheres to serving selected Japanese food materials.
Moreover, Mr. Toyoshima became President of the Japanese Restaurant Association of America (JRA) in 2006, and he conducted food safety seminars for member restaurants and supported local Japanese restaurants’ activities.
In addition, Mr. Toyoshima and Sushi Gen played in main role in the 20-year long JRA activity of visiting a senior home for Japanese American citizen to serve sushi treats. Currently Mr. Toyoshima serves as Assistant To President of the Japanese Restaurant Association.
(Released by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles)