Tampopo: Conforming with Food Choice

caption: The men are embarrassed when the youngest one doesn’t order the same meal.

From this screenshot, we can see that these Japanese people dressed in suits are about to eat dinner together in a fancy looking private restaurant. Almost all of them but one chooses the same order from the menu. The menu is in a different language so they can’t understand the food choices but they choose to follow the one who orders first. The youngest one doesn’t realize that he is suppose to order the same meal even though the man next to him keeps kicking him in order for him to receive the message.  Since the youngest one doesn’t understand what the other men believe he is doing wrong, the men start to feel embarrassed in front of the waiter by showing how red their faces turn as the youngest one finishes ordering his meal very satisfied and the waiter leaves.

This scene is important because the screenshot reveals how some people chose to conform to cultural capital by showing that the Japanese men had to order the same meal although they couldn’t read the food choices.  The french food symbolizes national power and those Japanese men wanted to be part of that. Since the men started to look down with their faces red when the youngest Japanese man didn’t choose the same food choice as them, it reveals that individuals look down upon people who don’t choose to follow cultural capital. They also demonstrate that they oppose people who don’t follow the same beliefs when the one of the men kicks the youngest man that he is suppose to order the same meal. They are embarrassed if one of their people decides not to conform. I found this interesting because the screenshot reminded me how society enforces people to conform to its beliefs and expectations like how society believes that men should be able to support his wife and children. The screenshot reveals that idea when the men besides the youngest one want to conform to superior power by showing the same food choice they order. However. the film also reveals people who don’t conform by showing that the youngest one chooses a different meal from the others even though the others try to enforce him to act the same as them by trying to make him choose the same order. The French food gives us an idea that there are expectations and beliefs we are force to follow by society. Some of us choose to follow those ideas but there are some who either try to ignore those expectations or they choose not to conform because they don’t want to be followers. Those people who choose to conform strive for a good reputation like when those japanese men order the same food but their reputation is ruined when one of their people doesn’t follow along which is represented by the youngest Japanese man. Therefore, I found those ideas of conforming by the choice of food the men make from this screenshot very interesting and significant to me.


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