Cinema Umami

Join us at JFT for Cinema Umami!

Cinema Umami is our documentary screening series spotlighting the joys of Japanese cuisine and the often underappreciated labour of love that goes into its creation. Quick tip, don’t come hungry!


April 4 • June 4 • July 23 • The Japan Foundation, Toronto

All films presented in Japanese with English subtitles
Free Admission • In-Person Screenings • RSVP Required (register below!)


Come Back Anytime また いらっしゃい

Thursday, April 4, 6:00PM (ET)

Directed by John Daschbach 2021 • Documentary / Ramen 81 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

An intimate portrait of Japan’s culture of food, community, and work, Come Back Anytime features gorgeous scenery, mouth-watering dishes, and a delightful cast of regular customers. It’s a heartwarming reminder of life’s simplest pleasures: a delicious meal, relaxed conversations with friends, and a special place to call one’s own.


A Handful of Salt ひとにぎりの塩

Tuesday, June 4, 6:00PM (ET)

Directed by ISHII Kaori 2021 • Documentary / Agriculture 90 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

A Handful of Salt sheds light on the craftspeople who continue to make salt with a technique called “Agehama-shiki” that has been passed down since ancient times, and the lush natural environment of the northernmost tip of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.

The process of making salt by collecting sea water and boiling it in a hiragama cauldron temporarily died out during the period of Japan’s rapid economic growth following World War II, but one family’s efforts to keep it alive has miraculously ensured its continuation. Salt is a vital element of people’s lives. The salt-making artisans who perpetuate their traditions.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi 二郎は鮨の夢を見る

Tuesday, July 23, 6:00PM (ET)

Directed by David Gelb 2011 • Documentary / Sushi 81 min. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles Trailer

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85 year-old ONO Jiro, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi, but even at his age he sees himself still striving for perfection, working from sunrise to well beyond sunset to taste every piece of fish; meticulously train his employees; and carefully mold and finesse the impeccable presentation of each sushi creation. At the heart of this story is Jiro’s relationship with his eldest son Yoshikazu, the worthy heir to Jiro’s legacy, who is unable to live up to his full potential in his father’s shadow..