Minisode 6: Tampopo and the History of Ramen
Join us for a hunger-filled discussion of the "ramen western" Tampopo (1985), directed by Juzo Itami. Tampopo puts a comedic spin on the beloved Japanese noodle dish as it follows two truck drivers who train a recently widowed ramen shop owner to make better noodles. The Rocky-style training and absurd makeovers of the ramen shop owner are interspersed with cheeky vignettes which poke fun at Japanese society and tradition. This cult classic film contributed to the global popularization of ramen and Japanese cultural soft power.
Listen in as we discuss not only Tampopo, but the (surprisingly recent!) history of ramen, Japan's connection to spaghetti westerns, and the reductive fetishization of Japanese cultural products. Just make sure you've eaten before listening!
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