Jonny’s Currying of Japanese Curry Culture - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Jonny’s Currying of Japanese Curry Culture

Jonny’s Currying of Japanese Curry Culture

By Will Garofalo


Kinya “Jonny” Aota, motorcyclist and spiritual guru, had a revelation that very much involved Japan and curry trucks. Believe it.

By Will Garofalo

Kinya “Jonny” Aota is not your typical food truck operator, if such a thing even exists.

No, Mr. Aota is a force. A leather-clad, vintage-motorcycle-loving 55-year-old force who just happened to open his first fluorescent Japanese curry truck. So yeah, filed under: extremely speculative.

But the glory of speculative has to do with the tightrope reality that though he might fail, he’s probably going to look great doing so. At least that’s what it seems like when you catch a gander of Aota cruising the hills on his motorcycle, or preparing curry and eel, setting up and closing down shop, and shooting the shit with curry lovers. 

Though so-called spiritual guru Aota, originally trained as a sushi chef, hedges his bets and moonlights at a nearby sushi shop while he gets his business off the ground. But on a grander scale, Aota gives a front-row seat to a relatable window through which we can witness the interconnectedness of Japanese culture with everyday activities.

Which is to say that even beyond the business aspects of what Aota is trying to pull off, he finds inspiration and purpose through currying of curry culture in Japan. Something he refers to as his chi, or what drives him to excel, to perfect, to find fulfillment and ultimately happiness in getting curry into the hands of those whose burning need for it brings them to him and his yellow curry truck in the Japanese hillside town of Biei.  


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