Obituary for Mikito Homma
The term ‘Legendary’ gets overused these days, especially in Whistler, but Mikito “Miki” Homma fills the criteria in ever sense of the word. In 1984 he, and two friends arrived in the now-famous ski resort when it was little more than a collection of chairlifts and a conceptual pedestrian village built on the garbage dump.
Miki and his friends fell in love with the snow and character of the town and in 1985 opened Sushi Village, Whistler’s first Japanese restaurants and one of the original six restaurants in Whistler Village.
It was not always easy to run a business but the snow was deep, the fish was fresh and Miki found summer fun windsurfing the summer on-shore breezes in Howe Sound. Over the next 32 years, Miki became an icon as Whistler exploded and Sushi Village became a must-visit spot for the ski, snowboard and mountain bike industries.
Always happy to sit and share a laugh as he ran food for his (sometimes very hung over) serving staff, Miki quickly became an icon in the Whistler scene, a cross between Ronald McDonald and Arthur Fonzerelli–loved by children for his wackiness and adults for his dedication to good fun, great food, and the creative spirit of Whistler.
Miki’s legacy and influence extended far beyond his restaurant. Sushi Village never changed because it didn’t have to and over the years Miki and his partners hired and supported professional athletes like freeskiing Mike Douglas, gold medal snowboarder Ross Rebaliati, renowned artist Chili Thom, and a host of other shredders, photographers, filmmakers, artists, business owners, lawyers, writers, even an adult film star! Miki made sure his permanent staff always had a place to come home to as they pursued their dreams and he helped introduce a generation of young Japanese workers to the big-mountain Canadian dream.
Friend to all and foe to none, Miki will be remembered for his wild laugh, his convoluted sense of humour, his generosity to his staff, and as the only Whistler restaurateur who saw no problem with playing classic 70s Punk Rock during dinner on both Sunday and Monday nights.
Miki is survived by his loving wife Naoko, his grateful staff, his hundreds of friends and the tens of thousands of sushi lovers who have flocked to his restaurant over the past three decades to experience the flavours, fun and friendship of a true legend.