All About Japan

Instant Ramen as a Samurai Epic

Ramen Video

Instant noodles, invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando, are considered by many in Japan to be the greatest Japanese innovation of the 20th century. While it’s easy to take the humble product for granted, it has an origin story so unique it’s been the subject of numerous news articles, research papers and television programs. There are even two museums in Japan dedicated to the easy-to-make snack.

Now Nissin, the company founded by Ando, is celebrating the famed inventor by condensing the background story behind his creation into a beautiful 1.5-minute clip, complete with an accompanying Japanese rap track.

What makes the clip extra impressive is the fact that it’s been created in a striking hard-boiled visual style, which incorporates dark shadows to portray a tough, mysterious world of intrigue. Instead of having a detective character at the center of the story, however, this clip portrays Momofuku Ando as a samurai warrior who’s dismayed at the long waiting lines at makeshift noodle stalls in post-war Japan. Seeing people go hungry due to food shortages frustrates him and he vows to work hard every day to change things for the better and find a way to feed hungry people all over the world with an abundant supply of noodles.

After shedding blood, sweat and tears into the creation, a revelation is made one day when he notices his wife frying tempura in oil. This is the lightbulb moment that gives birth to shunkan-yu-netsu kanso-ho (瞬間油熱乾燥法 ), the technique of frying instant noodles in oil for a short time to dehydrate them, which is the fundamental process that gave birth to the instant noodle.

The noodles spread from Japan to change the food culture of the world, proving that Ando’s bold dedication and spirit, like that of a samurai warrior, left a legacy that lives on past his lifetime and continues to inspire people today.

If you want English subtitles, click the settings button and select “English” under the subtitles menu. And if you ‘d like to sing along to the Japanese, click on the full story below from RocketNews24!

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