On December 13, 2022, RESOBOX held a Kazari Maki Zushi class for employees of Bloomberg, which is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan. Bloomberg is a major provider of financial and communications systems to the business world, with approximately 180 offices all over the globe, from London, to Tokyo, to Hong Kong, and beyond.
Thirty employees of various ages joined the class and got to build their own sushi creations and then enjoy tasting them along with Japanese sake. Kazari Maki Zushi is a specialized version of a sushi roll, where once the roll is sliced, the intricate design is revealed. Hiroyo Belmonte is the only teacher certified by the JSIA Sushi Instructors Association of Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo to offer these classes in New York City. This time, she showed us how to prepare two designs of sushi rolls, Santa Claus and Reindeer, to celebrate the Christmas season.
The participants spread dried seaweed, called nori, on a bamboo sushi mat, then rolled up ingredients like sushi rice tinted with beet juice, and finally cut the roll into slices. When they saw the completed cross section, they shouted with delight and all were thrilled. Everyone enjoyed their handmade Santa Claus and Reindeer sushi, as the slightly lopsided appearance made them look even cuter. The participants also appreciated that the sushi was made with only natural ingredients, without chemical additives. After the class, we received offers from their director to come back and run more classes for them in the future.
As major U.S. companies become more globalized, many of them offer cultural classes from various countries as a benefit to expose employees to and educate them about foreign cultures and also to encourage them to return to the office.
As a company that promotes Japanese culture in New York City, RESOBOX regularly offers cultural classes such as Sumi-e, Bonsai, Ikebana, Origami, Manga, and Sushi Making, both to large companies such as Google, Netflix, Airbnb, Dropbox, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs, as well as to much smaller companies with only a handful of employees.
Through the last two years, virtual classes were the norm due to the ongoing pandemic, but this year we have been receiving requests about in-person classes. We hope that there will be more opportunities to get together and learn about each other through our classes.
RESOBOX also provides support to organizations, companies and individuals in Japan looking to expand their Japanese cultural programs in the US. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested, or if you are an instructor of a Japanese cultural art form and would like to teach a class with us.