The word "sushi
" commonly refers to "nigiri sushi", a hand shaped sushi commonly served at sushi restraurants around the world. Nigiri sushi is representative of Tokyo
food. The reasons for this might relate to the fact that city (known as Edo
prior to 1868) was rich in seafood of all kinds.
The rice merchants of Osaka (once the financial capital of Japan) developed "oshi sushi" or pressed sushi. For pressed sushi, vinegared rice is packed into a mold and covered with strips of marinated fish. The whole is then firmly pressed under a wooden lid. When unmolded, the resulting loaf of sushi is cut into bite-sized pieces.
Maki sushi is a "rolled sushi" with narrow strips of seafood and crisp vegetables or pickles layered on a bed of vinegared rice and spread on a sheet of nori or seaweed, so it is also often called "nori-maki sushi". Nori-maki is the most well known sushi in the U.S. because just about any ingredient can be rolled into the centre without using any fresh raw fish sashimi.
The easiest type of sushi to make, made in all Japanese kitchens, is "chirashi sushi" or scattered sushi. Chirashi-zushi is simply seafood, vegetables, and other ingredients in or on vinegared rice. Chirashi-zushi without raw seafood often makes an appearance in bento (lunch boxes). It's taken on picnics and often sold on railway station platforms. "Station lunches" are not exclusively chirashi-zushi but many are. Stations are known for their type of food as well as for their unique lunch containers in which they are sold.
There are many other types of sushi that fall into the lunch or snack food category of maze sushi or "mixed sushi". Several examples are Inari sushi and fukusa sushi. Inari sushi consists of deep fried tofu (bean curd) pouches stuffed with mixed vinegared sushi rice. Fukusa sushi or "silk-square sushi" uses a square paper thin omelete to wrap the vinegared sushi rice. The word "fukusa" means silk squares which are often used to wrap gifts or other precious articles in Japan.