DJ Sushi was born Yukio Utada on August 15, 1978 in Yokohama and raised by his widowed mother (his father died of a heart-attack the day before his first birthday), who worked long hours to support her son and his art; she bought him his first set of turntables at age fourteen. Mostly a loner who practiced his art defiantly outside of the Japanese DJ scene, Sushi was most selective in the company he kept. DJ Krush was among the few Japanese DJs that won his confidence. Another was DJ Jujitsu with whom he formed the Otaku Scratch Crew (O.S.C.) in 1995 (also known as T.S.N. or Typical Scratch Nerds). It was at this time that he adapted the name DJ Sushi (reportedly as a joke). The short-lived OSC, which disbanded after DJ Jujitsu abruptly quit DJ'ing a year later, never publicly performed but did record numerous sessions together. Most of these collaborations were lost, but Sushi did release two of them on his 1997 dub-plate ("Pigeon Head Scratch" and "Underdog is Here").
His 1998 dub-plate was a 4-song solo release that included the controversial song "Aum Shinri Kyo". Inspired by the Japanese doomsday cult of the same name, who in 1995 launched a nerve-gas attack in the Tokyo subway system that killed 12 people and sickened more than 5000, many mistakenly thought that the song was an endorsement of the cult's actions. "That's typical stupid Japanese reaction", protested Sushi in his Giant Robot interview. "The song is saying to the people of Japan, just stop and think about life for one minute." Ironically, five months later on January 1, 1999, DJ Sushi took his own life by jumping in front of a speeding East Japan Railway Company train in Kunitachi City.