Hisako and Ryoichi Maeda (66 and 67) are the proprietors of Torisue, a tiny take-out-only yakitori shop in the Bontan area of Tokyo's Koto Ward, just a short walk from Monzen-Nakacho Station. Torisue is famous as a B-kyu (B-grade) gourmet favorite and fans from near and far will line up outside on Kiyosumidori Street until their chicken is grilled to perfection over the charcoal.

Hisako: Politically correct or not, meat certainly tastes delicious. Before I got married, I had never eaten meat or fish. I grew up in a Buddhist temple and my family avoided consuming anything that had eyes. But when I met Ryoichi, I tried yakitori for the first time and was astonished by how delicious it was. I've been enjoying chicken every day ever since.

Ryoichi: Success means that people love our yakitori. We have no desire to expand the business because we worry that if we did, the delicious flavor of our yakitori would get diluted. Staying small means that we can handle the whole process — from shopping to preparing the sauces and arranging the chicken and vegetables on the bamboo sticks. This is the key to the good taste of our yakitori.