Tampopo, the Best ‘Ramen Western’ in History
Poster for Tampopo Theatrical Release - Janus Films
Released in 1985, this second feature film from Juzo Itami is a ‘ramen western’, alluding to the famous ‘spaghetti western’ sub-genre.
This film is considered as a sort of food-erotica comedy. It contains western elements, violence, spying and zany stories, the latter often being linked to food (for example the woman who goes around fondling fruit and cheese in a supermarket, and the couple whose bedroom antics feature eggs).
The heroine, Tampopo, is a young widow at the helm of a soup and noodle restaurant in a working-class neighbourhood in Tokyo. That’s until she meets Goro, a trucker who looks like a cowboy. Goro likes to eat well, but he finds that Tampopo’s ramen is ‘missing something’. Keen to learn how to cook better, Tampopo eventually convinces Goro to help her perfect her skills.
Humorous and satirical, the film nevertheless maintains a deeply respectful attitude towards food. What’s more, Tampopo is Juzo Itami’s only film to have been released in cinemas in France. It’s a film that’s worth another taste, like a good Japanese soup.
Sawako Ariyoshi, the Japanese Simone de Beauvoir
Her caustic view of Japanese society and her feminist vision made her a successful but marginal author in the literary world of the time.
Hiroshi Senju: Sacred works at Koyasan
Famous for being the home to numerous Buddhist temples, the sacred site of Mount Koya celebrated its 1,200th anniversary in 2015.
The Must-Read Text on Japanese Aesthetics, 'In Praise of Shadows'
First published in Japanese in 1933, Junichiro Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows is a testimony to the enduring timelessness of Japanese aesthetics.
Iwakura Shiori’s Floral Photography
One of the key characteristics of Iwakura Shiori’s photography is her palette of bright colours, rendering her images sublimely cinematic.
In Karachi Fujien, Van Gogh’s Garden
Walking along the pathways of Kawachi Wisteria garden (Karachi Fujien), it’s easy to imagine oneself walking through a Van Gogh landscape.