Nombres propios

This was Tohishiko Sato, the owner of the first Japanese restaurant in Spain

The Japanese Tohishiko Sato, the chef who opened Fuji in 1967 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, died this Friday.

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The Japanese Tohishiko Sato, the chef who opened Fuji in 1967 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, died this Friday. He set up this historic restaurant after embarking on two other gastronomic businesses that did not go well. He decided to try one that reflected the culture where he was born, without there being any precedent or competition, not only on the island, but throughout the country.

As Francisco Moreno described in the June issue of Tapas Magazine, at first the establishment was an austere dining room, which served an extensive menu of Japanese food very different from what it is known as today.

The aura that still awakened among the people who approached the restaurant was loaded with a certain mysticism. The first customers were the workers who took the bento boxes, which are now sold in supermarkets, but which were then used to take food to work in a kind of oriental Tupperware.

The business grew and expanded, they also set up karaoke just as it is really done in Japan. But the last few years were difficult because the foreign crews left after Morocco took control of the Sahrawi fishing grounds.

Since last year, Fuji has been located in a different location than the initial one, now it is on Las Canteras Beach. In 2007, Sato retired and his head chef, Miguel Martínez, took over. Mr. Sato is no longer here, but his magical Fuji continues to beat, in a different way, but with the history of being the first Japanese restaurant in Spain.