Professor Anne Mcknight
October 14, 2013
I chose this as most important scene in this movie. This scene represent the important connect between food and love. When the husband came back to home, this woman was almost dying. He was really upset and asked her to cook a dinner. Then, suddenly she wakes up and went to kitchen. She walks like a zombie and cooks some fried rice. Finally, she finishes cooking and brings it onto the desk. She serves fried rice to her children. While families are eating fried rice, she smiles and dies. There are a lot of interesting scenes in this movie, but I think this scene is most impressed and represent family love. Even if she was almost dying, she could cook dinner. That’s because she loves her family and she wants to do something for her family as a final action. In a Japanese term, there is a “Ohukuro no Aji” (おふくろの味), which means “the taste of Mom’s cooking”. For a Japanese people, Ohukuro no aji is really important and each family always has it. For example, in my family, Ohukurono aji is Miso soup. My mother loves cooking Miso soup and I eat every morning when I was in Japan. I think this family in this movie, their Ohukuro no aji is fried rice. That’s why she chose it as a final dinner. While the father and three children are eating fried rice, they look very desperate and sad, but at the same time they look happy because their mother cook dinner as usual and eat dinner with whole families.
In this scene, the mother’s last smile was really impressed for me. When the father came back to home, she was about to die; however she reacted to husband order and cook some fried rice. And, she even served fried rice to her little child. I felt mother’s love and kindness to their children at this moment. I don’t think she has consciousness while she cooks. She cooks it involuntarily. I think her motivation at this time was extreme love against her family. While they are eating, she smiles and dies. I could read this smile a lot of way. First, this smile simply means love against her family. As a mother, she was happy to see her children are eating dinner with happy face. Second, this smile represents sadness of the mother. Of course, she was so sad to say goodbye to their family. She knows this is going to be last work as wife and mother. Therefore, her sadness can be seen in this scene.
In Tampopo, there are a lot of different stories and these stories are something related to food. Itami knows food have a lot of potential such as love and sadness…etc. Among these stories, I think this family scene is most important. Itami is trying to represent family love through the food (fried rice).