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A Look into the World of Traditional Japanese Art

For centuries, Japanese art has influenced the globe with its elegance. Today, it inspires us to create our own masterpieces through food.

From the fluid movements of Japanese calligraphy to the graceful practice of flower arranging, traditional Japanese art has transcended generations. Each form is unique, finding muses from the natural world to tell the stories and history of a culture and a country. As a result, these crafts have sparked waves of other works from painters, creators, and innovators alike from across the globe, including ourselves at JaBistro, a Japanese sushi restaurant in the heart of Toronto.

One of the more commonly known types is calligraphy or shodo. This craft was first introduced in the Heian period when it was originally imported from China. There are a variety of different styles including sosho, a grass hand style that is often used for aesthetic calligraphy and poetic script. Sophisticated and effortless, calligraphy is more than just words on a page, it is a visual art.

food on a wooden cutting board

One of our beautifully arranged sushi and sashimi platters at JaBistro.

Global audiences will also be familiar with Japanese tea ceremonies, a formal activity that was reserved for high-ranking guests in ancient times. It was born out of the country’s culture of hospitality in the Heian period and is considered one of the three classical arts of refinement. Zen Buddhism played an influential role in its development and many qualities of the Buddhism practice still exist in these tea ceremonies.

Ikebana is the craftsmanship of arranging flowers and creating a harmony of colours, textures, and forms, a tradition that dates as far back as the 7th century. It can be translated as “making flowers alive” or “giving life to flowers,” and aims to emphasize the animated yet calming qualities of the blossoms, branches, stems, and leaves of plants. Most flowers and fauna are also tied to symbolic meanings which add a layer of emotion and significance to arrangements.

a person sitting at a table with a plate of food

One of our professional chefs plating a sashimi platter with care.

At JaBistro, food is our way of creative expression. We find our inspiration in the natural world around us, taking lessons from the traditional crafts that have existed for generations. Like the artistry of ikebana, our sushi and sashimi dishes are arranged delicately to showcase the vibrancy, texture, and quality of our seafood. They are exquisitely plated so that it’s not only a feast for the stomach but for the eyes as well.

a hand holding a piece of food on a table

Art colliding with food: One of our sushi and sashimi platters.

And like the beauty of drinking tea, there is a certain finesse to drinking sake, an esteemed beverage with a rich history of its own. We handpicked the best sakes we could find at JaBistro to provide an authentic Japanese dining experience. Guests can savour and relish in the delicate flavours of our curated sake menu as they enjoy a delicious meal in our modern space.

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