‘The old master is explaining to his student the importance of embracing the ramen and noticing every single detail that the bowl entails.”
This is the scene at the beginning of the movie in which an educated master of ramen explains to his student the proper way to eat ramen. He begins by stating that one must embrace the bowl and carefully observe it. This is where the scene becomes one of the most important scenes in the entire movie as it outlines the theme. By giving such a thorough examination of the ramen, they are respecting it and the process it took to make such a marvelous dish. This action shows how one must appreciate every type of food, not just the ones considered to be luxurious. This is followed up by having the master tell his student and ultimately the audience that one must move the pork to the right side and apologize to it by stating, “See you soon.” This example of affection gives meaning to the idea of appreciating food. Also, by giving such appreciation for a bowl of ramen incites the idea that no food should be above any other and that they should all be equal. Itami Juzo continues on with this idea in other scenes. For example, the scene in which the trainee is seen to be well educated in French cuisine while his bosses are made to look the fool by their lack of understanding hints at equality. This scene breaks the hierarchy by having the lackey, who was supposed to follow the orders of his superiors, decides to present himself in a much more prestigious manner and is made out to be the most educated. This idea is first introduced by the process of eating ramen and that is why it is the most important scene in the movie. Not only does it give off the idea that food every type of food should be appreciated and respected, it also gives off the idea that food is pleasure. This idea can be seen when the Master explains that one must savor the aroma and caress the pork. From this, it can be seen that the food is an example of pleasure. Again, this idea can be seen later on throughout the movie when the gangster, Koji Yakusho is seen to partake in sexual activities involving food with his lover. This key example shows the connection between pleasure, and in this case, sexual intimacy, and food by showing that food is capable of bringing pleasure to people. Another example that shows this relationship is when an old lady begins pressing the peach until it breaks and the juices ooze out. In this case, the peach can represent the female reproduction organ and it is seen the leek which can be representative of the pleasure. All of these key ideas are first seen in the scene in which the master teaches the process of eating ramen and that is why it is most important. It plays a large role in setting the tone of the movie by not only giving off a comedic sense, but introducing important topics.