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The Gourmet Club

Kota Sumida

Japan 70

The Gourmet Club

            The Gourmet Club written by Junichiro Tanizaki is about five people who love food. These people in the gourmet club keep thinking about what they are going to eat. They can go to Kyoto from Tokyo to get just a turtle soup. They eat as much as their tongues lose all taste for the usual fine cuisine (102).  Eventually, they look for a kind of orchestral food. Through the story of The Gourmet Club, Tanizaki uses food to dramatize the idea of exoticism by catching reader’s nose, eyes and mouths with clear images and details.

The author describes what is going on with very small details to get readers nose and eyes. We can see this when Count G. sees dreams. He smells “strong, fragrant and sweet, all mixed together, rising from the midst of the steam” when he saw puffs of white steam rise temptingly (104). Tanizaki here gives us an image of many ingredients. Reader’s head are fulfilled by variety of food, and they cannot stop thinking about it. Even steam smells that many; what happens when we eat the puffs is one question come to readers’ mind. By making them imagine what he is talking about is important because that means he can succeed to get their attention well. The sentence stimulates readers’ nostrils in imagine world, and it also makes them sniff. Readers realize that their nose start to itch for the puffs. By sniffing their nose, they fall into the imagine world and try to eat the puffs. With the way, they can enjoy their own puffs. These reactions of readers are strong enough to make them stay in the story. The line “with every movement a thick, honey – like liquid dripped, dripped, dripped onto the ground” catches readers eyes. They started at drips from a thing to the ground, and they are already in the imagine world deeply. By appetizing one of humans’ three desire that is desire for food, the author takes them to an illusion.

Moreover, Tanizaki dramatize his story by food by playing with readers’ mouths. His sentences are mouth-watering. For example, the line “what had seemed to be the ground was in fact a giant tongue, and all those food were jumbled together in an immense mouth” stimulates our mouths. The giant tongue expresses that the person is so hungry and cannot wait anymore. We can get the sense of how hungry he is, and also our mouths are filled with saliva. Again, we cannot stop moving our mouths and thinking about food.

Tanizaki stimulates noses, eyes and mouths with foods in order to dramatize the idea of exoticism. Giving us clear images of food and how the mouth reacts, Tanizaki succeeds to urge people to eat.


spirited away

Kota Sumida

Japan 70

10 October, 2013

3-page paper

Spirited Away

            Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki is story about Chihiro (Sen) who is trying to help her parent and growing through work at Aburaya. She was one who always worries about everything, but through work at Aburaya, but she comes to realize that she has adaptability and patient. At Aburaya, she takes care of variety of gods and helps Haku from Yubaba at the end. Through Chiharu, Miyazaki tries to give us a message of one’s identity. For example, when Chihiro starts to work there, her name is changed to Sen by Yubaba. The name is one of one’s identities. Also, the director use food as a tool to indicate how people are ugly and strong, and memory is one of their identities.


            People are ugly, and Miyazaki shows this by using food. People have desires for such as food, sex and sleeping. They a hard time to deal with their desire, and most of all cannot control them well. Like parents of Chihiro, people are attracted by food all the time. Once her father smells food, he cannot stop thinking about it. Also, like animals, her parents begin to eat. Miyazaki here uses sounds of eating to make the way the eat ugly. In the scene, the sound is the only sound audience hears, so it is emphasized more. Moreover, when the parents become pigs, the food they are eating look very dirty and messy. Before they eat it, it looks very beautiful and delicious. The contrast of food Miyzaki shows gives audience image of dirty and ugly.  They as pigs lick their dish, and even though they are hit by someone with a whip, they do not stop eating, so here people get the sense of how people are greedy. That is why people are ugly. The parents represent us. We think that we are not animal but human beings; however, we are not different from animals such as pigs. By showing us these images of dirty and ugly, Miyazaki tries to claim that people are ugly like pigs.



People are strong because they can adapt any situation. Chihiro was about to disappear when it gets dark because they had not taken other world’s food until then. When she took a nut from the other world, she could keep being in the world. First, Chihiro worries everything and depends on her mother. Nevertheless, through working, she gets used to work there and adopt situation in new world. Like Chihiro, people have ability to be fit the circumstance. Even though they need time to change themselves in order to make it suitable, they will adapt. For new use or situation, people can change. That is why we as human beings are still alive. Our ancestors moved region to region in order to survive.  If the region they moved to was cold, they adapted the cold condition, and if other region was humid, they also changed to suit the weather. Without this ability, human beings had not been able to live. Of course, there are always feeing of fear and worried when we go to new place, try to do new things and live in new circumstance. Still, we can overcome and adapt. These reasons are why people are strong, and the director gives the sense of it from the scene when Haku tries to give a nut from other world to Chiharu.


            Miyazaki uses rice balls as a tool to show that memory is people’s identity. When Haku took her out, gave her cloth back and gave three rice balls, she started to cry and finished eating them all.  She feels easy and remembers her memory. Memory builds up oneself, so if people forget all their past, they are not themselves anymore; memory is themselves. That is why people vale their memory.  For Chiharu’s case, she focuses on working much, so she almost lost her memory and past. She felt sacred when she realized that she almost lost her identity. The director Miyazaki uses rice balls as a reminder for her, and the reason why he chooses rice balls is that they are very common and familiar with in Japan. By using common thing, he tries to make people imagine the process that Chiharu remembers her memory. People are afraid of losing their memory that is identity, and Miyazaki expresses this by the scene above.

            Food expresses how people are ugly and strong, and memory is one of their identities in the film, Spirited Away. People cannot control their desire, and they just follow it, so they are ugly. At the same time, people have ability of adapting any situation. They can change over time in order to make it suitable. Also Miyazaki shows how memory is important for us. Memory is our identity, so we are afraid of losing it. Through movie, Miyazaki uses food in order to express his thought.

Jp70_Sumida_Screen Shot

Kota Sumdia

Japanese 154

October 13, 2013

Screen Shot (Tampopo)


(They are playing with an egg by moving it from mouth to mouth.)

                                The director, Juzo Itami, of Tampopo makes audience wonder what manner is. Through this film, we watch many manner people want to obey or should obey; for example, how to eat ramen, how to make ramen, how to eat French food in restaurant etc. People believe that it is their way to show their respect to it. An old man who teaches how to eat ramen to a young man at the very beginning of the movie respects ramen very much, so he eats it like that.  Also, ladies in French restaurant learn how to eat spaghetti. They first assumed that they have to eat it very quietly even though they feel uncomfortable. However, once they found western guy is eating spaghetti very loudly which is different from the way they are taught. Then, they start to eat it with the way they want. Other example is where six business men went to French restaurant. Everyone orders same menu, but youngest one who is knowledgeable about French food orders what he wants. Not knowing the manner, he destroys what other businessmen have built up. Manner is manner, but it does not mean people always have to follow.

The scene (a couple moving an egg mouth to mouth) is eye- level shot and close-up because their faces fill most of the screen. Because of the work, we can feel and touch their atmosphere how emotionally they are kissing and playing with an egg. Also, somehow the audiences are able to see what is going on in the mouth. The woman’s hair is untidy and wears heart shape earing; from that, the director successes to express who she is and how she acts. She is very active and powerful. This is very an interesting scene because there is no manner or order at all. There is only pure and strong desire of the couple. That is why they seem they are comfortable, and they are beautiful. They do not care others; they just care themselves, so they are  They just obey their desire in this scene and make fun of people who keep manner when they eat. An egg here represents food or meal, so playing with it and using it as a tool for their joy show how they disrespect people’s manner. Before this sense, people respect and care about manner so does the old man teaching how to eat ramen. Sex and food are both targets of people’s desire, so caring about how to deal with them is important. By showing how to deal with them, the director makes us realize how the manner works, and sometimes it does not work.