FINDING FUJIMOTO: Join the search for the missing sushi master in North Korea

PART 1: Introduction


NEXT: PART 2: The Man, the Chef, and the Mystery: Who is Fujimoto Kenji?


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March 2nd, 2017 | the Paektu Blog | Michael Spavor 

There were a few pictures that showed up in the Japanese media last week which showed Fujimoto Kenji (藤本 健二), the renowned sushi chef and writer, working at his new restaurant, which recently opened in downtown Pyongyang, North Korea.

Yes, that’s right … in North Korea, or for those familiar with the country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or just DPRK* is also fine. I was quite excited to hear of this development as I was anxiously anticipating the opening of this restaurant, but I was also happy because I was trying to reconnect with my friend Mr. Fujimoto for the greater part of 2016, that is until I found out where he was and what happened to him.

This is a short, 5 part blog about how I met Mr. Fujimoto Kenji and became friends, and then after he kind of disappeared, my little adventure to find him and to show you his new restaurant hidden in the back streets of Pyongyang. I want to share the story about the search for my friend but I also want to encourage you to come and visit North Korea, to see what it’s really like and why I enjoy working and traveling there so much.

My name is Michael Spavor. I’m Canadian, a kind of a consultant of sorts, and live in northeast China, on the borders of the DPRK and the Russian Far East. I’ve been living and working in this region for about 18 years now, and I promote business, sport, culture and tourism exchanges with the DPRK. I generally enjoy most of the adventures involved with my interesting, often odd and challenging work.



I haven’t seen Mr. Fujimoto since April of last year, but now that I’ve found him I’m going to visit his new sushi restaurant “Takahashi”, this April for the first time. The trip is planned from April 14th to 17th 2017 and it is during the 105th Birthday celebrations of the country’s founder. It’s going to be an amazing trip to see North Korea!  See below for more information on how to join.

Michael Spavor | Paektu Cultural Exchange



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日本語の情報 .pdf   Download PDF


PART 1: Introduction 

(with video)

PART 2: The Man, the Chef, and the Mystery: Who is Fujimoto Kenji?

PART 3: How Fujimoto and I first met    

PART 4: The search begins for Mr. Fujimoto

PART 5: Welcome to Takahashi Pyongyang’s Newest Sushi Restaurant!  

(photos & video of Restaurant)   

PART 6: The Takahashi Sushi Bar & Ramen Restaurant Review

(posting pictures and video’s from our April 14-17th trip


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