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Success can be in stick of yakitori

Date Posted: 2003-09-19

No one is born to success. Instead, success is mostly made with hard work and perseverance. “You only need to believe in what you are doing and then give it your best,” says Masayuki Sakugawa, or “Dai-chan” as he is called by those who know him. And many know. He is the portly fellow who grills and sells yakitori, grilled chicken pieces on bamboo sticks, in front of ICSC shop on Gate 2 Street outside Kadena AB Gate 2. He is serving his delicious morsels there almost every Friday and Saturday, and on the eve of most national holidays.

Dai-chan considers himself a success. He was born Apr. 8, 1956 and as so many young Okinawan men moved to seek his success to Tokyo where he decided to open a yakitori bar. He worked very hard, and was well liked by his customers. He is fun to talk with and gets along with anybody. “Any business is difficult in the beginning and takes hard work to become successful. But what ever one decides to do, he or she has to put the whole heart into it. Eventually the money will come,” Dai-chan says.


Dai-chan put his heart into grilling yakitori in Tokyo for 18 years. He eventually developed his own special sauce that kept his customers coming back night after night. He also discovered not to use frozen chicken meat. Yakitori usually comes frozen and pre-skewered on sticks from Taiwan or China, but Dai-chan prefers to shop his chicken fresh from a local meat store. “That is an expensive way to make yakitori, but that’s what it takes to be the best,” he says.

He also likes to travel. So far he has visited most of European countries, China Singapore and America. Eventually Dai-chan made and invested enough money into mostly American securities that he does not have to work full time. But he still likes to serve people the best yakitori as only he can, and keeps working two nights a week on Gate 2 Street. Everyone can decide for him or herself. If it does not rain, he is on his spot from 6 p.m. until all is sold. After that he goes and enjoys a beer or two in a local bar before retiring. That is a successful man.

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