OK, I'm open minded, so convince me. What's so great about the revered, silent sushi "master?" "All the great sushi masters....." "the great sushi chefs of Japan all say or think...." I appreciate their efforts, and it is a craft, but why do they get so much more respect than a sous chef or a fry cook? I know that they have to select the best fish, but I do that at my own market. I know that they have to slice the fish, and put it on a plate, or stick the sliced fish to some rice, and then put it on a plate, and sometimes they make rolls. If they are realy good, they make hand rolls. Every now and then, you see an inventive sushi restaurant that is a bit more varied in their selection, but generally they all serve the same thing. And I've been to Japan, where sushi is a more everyday thing, but here I guess that eating sushi is (relatively) kind of "out there," generally speaking, so it's cooler, or more "chowhoundish." Thus the respect for the silent, lonely, arms-crossed, sushi master. You'd think that they were on horseback, raiding tibet or something, making sushi blindfolded with their arms tied behind their back.
I'll contend that this occupation is the most overblown in the US. I mean, good god, it's not like they have to cook anything......but I appreciate their efforts and am open to arguments, I just don't like all the flattery heaped upon them, in particular.