Sushi Rice Studios? That’s a strange name.

So, you are probably wondering what is up with my studio name? Formerly, I used the name Shari Nakagawa Photography. But my first name has so many different spellings, and my last name seems unpronounceable (I think it’s easy, but I have been using it for over 30 years.) So, I decided to change the name…

Let me tell you a little story.

In my mid-twenties after University, I decided to move to Japan and teach English. It was an amazing experience for me, and brought me out of my shell. I could tell you a million stories about that time, but there was one experience that directly led to the current name of my studio.

After being a teacher for a couple years, I was promoted to Supervisor. It was my job to help each of the teacher’s become better and more effective. So, one day, I was in the classroom with a teacher named Aaron. Now, my name is pronounced like the liquor (ie. Sherry – eh sound on the a). But Aaron always insisted on introducing me as Shari (sha-ri – soft a). I would get mad at him and tell him that that is not how you pronounce my name. Then we would have an argument. He would say there is no ‘she’ sound in the Japanese language. I would argue that we were teaching ENGLISH!

And he would proceed to introduce me to his classes as sha-ri sensei.


And the kids laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

I figured it was because I was new. New and foreign. They often thought foreigners were so funny.

Fast forward a couple years. I am back in Canada and at my friend’s house. I am teaching him to make sushi. The key to good sushi is the combination of rice, rice vinegar, sugar and salt. I couldn’t remember the exact proportions that my grandma had taught me, so I turned to ever faithful Google to help me. And there it was. Staring me in the face.

The vinegared rice is also referred to as shari.

All that time Aaron had been calling me sushi rice teacher.  No wonder they laughed.

The first time I told the story, I was still annoyed by it. But over the years, I have softened and now embrace it. Todd sometimes calls me sushi rice, and I’m okay with that.

And now it’s my studio name. :)


Me and two of my favourite students in Japan.

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