Sushi with strawberries, mandarin oranges and cherries – a 33-year-old homemaker in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Aki Yamaoka is giving a helping hand to local rice farmers by creating several kinds of artistic sushi rolls featuring local agricultural products.
The sushi rolls are called “kazari makizushi” in Japanese. They are made of rice colored with red pickled ginger and other ingredients, as well as vegetables and cheese. You arrange them delicately so that the cross-section will show motifs when the roll is cut. So far, she’s created more than 150 kinds of them with motifs she took from agricultural products and 12 Japanese zodiac animals, for example. Yamaoka always uses Musubinokami, a local rice brand, as well as seaweed and vinegar also from Mie prefecture.
Her artist name is Roll Makiko. In 2010, she became a professional makizushi artist. “I hope many of you will have fun making makizushi and eat more rice from Mie,” she said.