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The True Origins of a Modern Delicacy
As told to me by a Lady Yamayoshi 
from the old Imperial Household

Translated by Rick Tornello 2021

Once upon a time ago, upon the seas a ship did go.
From a port on Hainan Island with fair winds and calm seas its bow did foam.
Loaded freight and crew were right.
Balanced well sailing days and nights.
To home Japan the stars guided that ship well built with bulkheads tight.
Without warning upon the ship a typhoon huge with all mighty natures might fell.
The rudder splintered-ripped and apart it came; the sails were all but gone.
While the mast were no more than stumps and toothpicks of the poorest kind.
The good ship and crew at the mercy of the gods did cry and wail all to no avail.
Upon some shore some alive were thrown.
Soggy, wet, beat up, almost totally drown.
Some with sense crawled to higher above the tides ground
and there shivering waited out that great winds ultimate doom.
As if nothing untoward had occurred, the next morn the great orb
in cloudless sky brightly shown.
The ship or what was left, in splinters on the beach like a dead wale thrown.
Those that alive were left, all battered crawled to the boat and supplies searched.
Bruised, stomachs with deep pangs of hunger, water needed to quench their quest
Some water was found but food stores… none, all lost. 
At least at a minimum some days to them were given.
“What to do,” one cried in vain.
“With water and time we’ll make a plan,” said one other a bit more sane.
He, looking about found some fish upon the shore dead and bloated.
But fresh floating in their wrecked boat he found, now elated.
The salt water preserved them at least for now but how to eat with all matches and wood soaked.
Two others sat around head in hands, shocked and useless by normal standards moaned.
Our smart one said, “We’ll eat them raw at least it’s food.”
“I’ll gag,” screamed one
“I’ll die,” moaned yet another and cried out for his long dead mother.
“Oh come on it can’t be bad. Maybe wrapped in this seaweed here it will taste too add.”
He lied of course but something had to be done. These dunderheads would rather die then try.
So with a knife he found, the fish he sliced and seaweed bound.
He ate some in front of the crew, quietly gaging stated,  “It’s really good. Try some too.”
He thought a bit while the others soon too hungry to say no, slowly onto this foul meal fell.
They survived this terrible ordeal and were eventually rescued in a fortnight tell.
“How did you live?” family asked when back to land they made fall. 
The smart one told them about the fish and weeds then thought of something new.
He showed them all what he had done and then wrapped it in rice and soy sauce plunged.
Add wasabi and what a feast.
All about wanted a taste and to today no fish goes to waste.
Some one asked what he called it.
“Got no Matches to cook food” which translated to Sushi in that so ancient dialect.
And unknown to most, so called, it remains today.
As told to me, what can I say?