American Hiro

The Adventures of Benihana's Rocky Aoki and How He Built a Legacy

“Traveling the world with my father, watching him interact with people, famous and ordinary, observing up close his balls-out sense of adventure, and having a larger-than-life personality to live up to had a profound effect on me and the formation of my character.” 

—From the foreword by Steve Aoki, Grammy-nominated producer and Billboard award-winning DJ 

Hiroaki “Rocky” Aoki was a man who succeeded in everything he pursued. From world-class wrestling, ballooning, underwater exploration, and car and boat racing to founding Benihana, Rocky’s passion for life infected all around him and accelerated the exchange of Japanese culture and cuisine with America.

Rocky’s rags to riches story, from dishwasher and busboy to owner of a multi-million-dollar restaurant empire, is a wild American dream realized unlike any other. Running and expanding the business would be all-consuming for most people—not to mention battling the perception of otherness—but Rocky would not be deterred. His determination for the business rivaled the drive he demonstrated in his other interests, some of which almost killed him.

American Hiro by Jack McCallum, who had full access to Rocky Aoki and those in his enterprises, provides the only full inside account of one of the most famous symbols of cultural assimilation and capitalistic zeal in modern US history—a champion in business, sports, and life.

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