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Tojo - Inventor of the California and BC Roll?

November 24, 2007 2:13 pm

I was watching Chef at Large on Food Network a few nights ago and they aired an episode about Sushi.   They filmed the show in Vancouver at the restaurant Tojo’s.  To my surprise the show stated that Hidekazu Tojo is the inventor of the California roll and BC roll.  I decided to do a search on wikipedia to learn more.   Wikipedia states that the California roll is invented in LA by Ichiro Mashita in the early 1970s.  

Who is the real inventor of the California roll and who should get the credit for inventing the roll?

 To me it seems kind of odd that someone in Vancouver, British Columbia would invent a CALIFORNIA roll as they are in BC and not California unlike the other cheif based in California.  

 

6 Responses to “Tojo - Inventor of the California and BC Roll?”

Paul wrote a comment on March 3, 2008

Hello Gary, I just stumbled unto your blog from cyberspace. I believe it’s pretty commonly accpted that Ichiro Mashita invented the roll at a restaurant called Tokyo Kaikan. Wikipedia has the decade wrong. I have researched it is being about 1967 or ‘68. There is another California chef, Horikawa, who has laid claim to the roll, but his restaurant didn’t open until the 1970’s - so if he invented it he was just serving it at home! I’ve never heard of a BC chef as the inventor. I will tell you one interesting aspect of my research in this. apparently the roll was created at the urging of a customer named Sheridan. I have tried to track this man down, but so far I’ve been unsuccessful. this tip came from Mashita’s assistant at Tokyo Kaikan, Imaizumi. So strictly speaking you could say that some man named Sheridan invented the roll. Another interesting point is that Mashita never wanted the credit for his invention. He was a traditional sushi maker, so he found the association with the modern American creation embarrassing.

KATSU ASHINA wrote a comment on March 21, 2008

ICHIRO MASHITA AFTER TOKYO KAIKAN OPENED HIS OWN PLACE CALLED RESTAURANT TOKYO IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES ON OLIVE ST AND LATER IN BEVERLY HILLS ON WILSHIRE BLVD CURRENT SITE OF THE GRILL,LATER ICHIRO MASHITA WAS CONVICTED FOR CHILD MOLESTATION WITH HIS MANAGER YO MIZUKAMI,ICHIRO MASHITA DIED OF AIDS IN FOLSOM PRISON.

Razor wrote a comment on May 10, 2008

I watched a program which Tojo’s from Vancouver self promote his so called Inventions, I got news about his food and Tojo, Little man with big ego, expensive and over priced restaurant which I can say for the wanna be’s, I have eaten there twice with Japanese Clients from Japan and they both quoted average food and way over priced, I finally went to Japan and understand what they were speaking of, Tojo himself has a big mouth and is not a elite Japanese cook, he is best friends with Rob Feenie/ former Lumire , another piece of work who now work at the Cactus Club, One step above Mcdonald’s. If you really enjoy Sushi, go once in your life time to Osaka, Japan and you will understand, why only average cook’s leave Japan and I got news for you,Tojo did not Invent the califonia roll!!!

little fish wrote a comment on February 1, 2010

o_O….omg, I didn’t expect this much drama from such a common question. Who created the california roll??!! I’m from East Van who loves sushi and have only gone to a quarter of the sushi houses here in Vancouver and Richmond, but the same question persists. I was researching the orgin of the famous “western” favorite sushi, the california roll, when I stumbled upon this thread. Even though I live here in Vancity, I’ve never actually gone to Tojo’s and was researching his restaurant. Looking at his site, I do believe that his restaurant screams ordinary and overpriced that overshadows other fabulous places such as the Bonquila and other innovative restaurants that is abundant with art for the eyes and the palate but is also wallet friendly. It is funny how Tojo laid claim to the california roll… What I also found interesting is ICHIRO MASHITA’s shameful past. I guess there was a reason for him to stay out of the limelight afterall…. (^_^)

Colby wrote a comment on September 23, 2010

Ichiro Mashita did not molest children or die in prison of aids. Someone is trying to slander him. He is alive and well and serving sushi in los Angeles to this day.

Mari wrote a comment on September 24, 2010

I am publishing a book in 2011. It will explain to the world how my father invented the California Roll in 1956. There is a logical explanation that the world has yet to know how the real and first California Roll was invented. It did not start out as a maki sushi at all. And there is a reason how the Real crab meat became a part of the dish. Ichiro Mashita may have reinvented the California Roll as a maki sushi, but it was not his invention.

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