Sushi just means vineagared rice, so technically sushi can just be seasoned balls of rice (a common bento box item in japan from what I hear).
It's really not the flavor of raw fish that turns most Americans off from raw fish, but the texture and the idea that you are eating raw meat (muscle). The other flavor that sometimes seems foreign to Americans is the flavor of toasted seaweed.
I would recommend that you try the handformed bitesized pieces of sushi called "Nigiri". Start with Tamago Nigiri (sweet rolled japanese omelet), then try Unagi Nigiri (Freshwater Eel) which just looks like a piece of BBQ'd fish with some sweet sauce called Nitsume.
Personally, I find the imitation crab meat in California rolls to be absolutely disgusting, and would not recommend trying them unless you are at a higher-end bar that uses real crab meat.
But sushi is only one area of Japanese food. Try some things that others have mentioned like Edamame, Miso Soup, Sunomono, etc. Traditional Japanese food is very beautiful (and I'm not just speaking in terms of presentation). It is often quite simple with very few ingredients, and hinges entirely upon great ingredients that are in season (or preserved) and proper preparation.
My personal favorite is Hamachi Nigiri. A common thing in sushi bars is to springle finely sliced spring onions on them, but I'm always sure to tell the sushi-chef to "hold the onions". My local haunt always serves my order with a couple pieces of Tamago. Many people judge a sushibar by it's preparation of the omelet - I do so as well, and find it to be the perfect opener. I also enjoy shiro-maguro, or albacore tuna. It is quite delicate, and one of my top ordered items. I also enjoy flying fish roe in battleship style sushi (Tobiko). It is very different than the similar looking masago that most sushi bars roll california rolls in, or mix into spicy tuna rolls.
Anyhoo... just try to let go of past preconceptions and explore!