タンポポ / Tampopo 🍜 (Japanese Film Club)

Aug 18th - Aug 31st

Japanese Film Club Home Thread

TMDB Entry

Known Content Warnings

Death, Consuming Raw Food


Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags/hide details to discuss plot events.
  • Feel totally at ease to ask questions or give your thoughts, any time! Someone will probably look at this thread even well after the official period ends.
  • Have fun, and do your best to interpret anything said with as much good faith as possible :slightly_smiling_face:


In addition to the Criterion Channel and HBO Max, the internet comes through once again, with this existing right on Youtube.

Youtube Link

  • I watched with no subs
  • I watched with Japanese subs
  • I watched with English subs
  • I clicked a poll
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How would you rate this film?
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This is a really funny movie, but beware there’s some graphic animal cruelty if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing.


Oof, yeah that’s good to know; I try to warn people where I can but I haven’t personally seen this one. Mind explaining what happens (in spoiler tags maybe?) and I can add a little warning to the main post?


In the Youtube version, you might want to skip 59:50 to 1:00:30 if you don’t want to see a graphic depiction of a turtle having its throat slit.

There is another scene with animal cruelty, namely prawns being suffocated in alcohol and thrashing about, but it seems to have been cut from the Youtube version.


Just one of the best films ever made. And I dare anyone to not immediately crave omurice upon watching that scene where the beggar king steals into someone’s house and makes some. I didn’t even know that such a thing could exist.


This equals top-tier Python:) I wouldn’t have known the movie even existed if not for the film club, so mucho 感謝 :bowing_man: … that “don’t die, make dinner” scene tho :grimacing:


Today I watched a movie called Tampopo. My impression of the movie is that it is a film that released in the year 1985, and various topics and themes were present. This movie is a visual and auditory movie.

TLDR: It is one of the movies of all time.

1 Like

Well as a learning experience, that was great. I managed to get Japanese subs, which helped with the occasional very rough speaking styles, and felt like I understood a very large part of it! Easily my best listening performance with the club so far.

Just a little surprised I didn’t love it more, with such high praise I’ve heard from practically everyone who has seen it. It wasn’t bad, certainly, but I guess with comedy it really comes down to exactly what is going to amuse an individual person. Sometimes it did, often it was just… alright. Very watchable. I like the way the interspersed unrelated skits make it flow. It’s a respectable attempt at making a movie all about food and the ways we construct ceremonies around food.

It certainly wasn’t worth doing that to the turtle. The scene with the old woman squeezing food is very good, though.


Non-spoiler review:

I watched with Japanese subtitles and had a bit of a rough time, haha. The language didn’t seem too hard, but I couldn’t quite read fast enough to keep up with the conversations, so I missed a lot of it. Some scenes were alright, but others totally went over my head, and I just had to figure out what was going on from context.

I think I liked our previous two film club picks better than this one, though it was an alright movie. I’m largely in agreement with @Daisoujou there, I think, though I’d never heard of this movie before, so I had no expectations going in.

Spoiler review:

The turtle scene was more distressing than I expected. Didn’t like that at all.

My favorite part was the scene with the woman running around the store squeezing food. The way that whole scene was shot was super funny, haha.

I’m not really the biggest fan of the era of American westerns that this movie seemed to be parodying (I don’t hate westerns as a genre, but I’m very, very picky about them), so even though I appreciated the parody more than I appreciate the films it’s referencing, I feel like that part of it would’ve been more effective for me if I had greater familiarity with the genre.

Overall, I don’t regret having seen it, but I’m not sure I’d watch it again even when my language ability is better.


Liked it more than I expected.

Had really only seen the starting ramen scene, and it was far from being the tone of the movie.

I’m glad I finally watched it, and plan to do so again with JP subs soon. Maybe in English after.

Easily my favorite of the club so far, with The Katakuris second.


First, my apologies (again) for the content warning oversight. I don’t write things often enough to be very good at it. Let’s say it was my first nomination of anything, anywhere (because it was) and chalk it up as learning experience.
Great to see a range of reactions to the film anyway. Especially how people perceived, or didn’t, the films comedic elements. Reactions here as well as at home seem to have solidified this notion that what I find funny has indeed been tainted by my individual experiences in the world of comedy.

Spoils and response

Tampopo gets described as “ramen Western” on it’s Criterion page and I took that as a spin from Spaghetti Western (Italian Westerns like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and other such films of Sergio Leone). Which I would consider post-Western, or at least started at the tail end of the Golden Age of Westerns (1940s to 1960s apparently). I just now learned they are called macaroni Westerns in Japan. While I suppose ultimately they all boil down to American Western, to me Tampopo’s storytelling style lands closer to that of Italian directors of the 60s-70s. Particularly with having multiple protagonists. The roaming scenes struck me reminiscent of Federico Fellini (Roma) Also, in my mind, the first diner scene framed our characters more akin to Clint Eastwood than John Wayne for example.

Pretty sure my jaw dropped at the “eat it while its hot, its the last meal your mother made” line.

Looking forward to the next pick


Oh you’re totally good! It’s the kind of thing some people probably aren’t going to think much about and will forget later, but others might be super sensitive to (kinda bummed me out but it’s ok, it did help to be warned). It’s obviously just an oversight and not malicious – we do what we can with the content warnings to help people out, but considering sometimes we’re nominating things we haven’t even seen, it has to be understood that they will be imperfect. I don’t think anyone will blame you, I certainly don’t.

That’s a super cool insight, thanks! Still digesting that. Though I’ve seen a decent bit of Fellini, I haven’t watched Roma, so I am missing that point of comparison.


TBH, it was the drawing out of the awkward spaghetti slurping scene, great foley there btw, that brought Fellini to mind but I couldn’t place it. Roma however is in my collection and while I haven’t seen it in forever I always think of it as being told from the perspective of the camera being the narrator. That seems to me to be the case in Tampopo from time to time. Maybe a bit of a stretch, just trying to further land the Italian director (of that time) comparison.


I thought there was a definite Monty Python feel in several of the vignettes: the dying woman scene, the homeless gourmet scene, the woman squeezing food scene. And a definite Spaghetti Western feel, in the beginning especially. There were other styles mixed in too, but these were what stood out to me.

At first I had no idea what I was about to watch, and how to take what I was watching, but once I realized the craziness it was great. I would prefer it without the turtle scene, but I was forewarned and was expecting it, and it took only a second anyway.

discussion of animal cruelty and response

This was my association as well. Not that I’m well versed in the genre and time period but one year at Tromsø International Film Festival part of the program was dedicated to showcasing old spagetti westerns and Tampopo’s vibes definitely reminded me of those:) It is also a great example of a “non-battle battle movie” in how it depicts running a restaurant and making ramen

Re: the turtle

While watching an animal be killed was uncomfortable and definitely deserving of a content warning, I’m glad it was shown. Being a movie about eating and preparing food it naturally contained the meats of many animals who were no less killed than was the turtle. The turtle’s death, as painful as it probably was, was likely way less traumatic than the lives of most of the animals and fish we can buy at the supermarket. Being confronted with some small piece of the realities behind our own consumption is a good thing for most people imo. It might even spark some to reconsider the ethics of their own eating habits :person_shrugging:


It was pretty clearly Rocky inspired. :rofl:


The business luncheon with the underling effortlessly breaking into French. Does it get more Pythonesque?

Not all that related but The Holy Grail is a one of the movies that I recently imported on Blu-Ray for its Japanese dub and I haven’t gotten around to viewing it yet. This conversation may have been enough of a push for me to put that next in the queue. So thanks for that.


How had I forgotten about that? :rofl:

The Holy Grail in Japanese must be doubly hilarious! I need to see whether Netflix has the dubbed version! (aww, I checked and it seems not :slightly_frowning_face:)


Yeah, actually part of why I haven’t watched the Blu-Ray is that I was trying to find the dub on Netflix, or anywhere from legitimate sources I have access to, before importing a piece of plastic across the ocean, and having started the movie to only find the JP subs, well I just continued watching with the subs on all the way through. So it was still too fresh in my mind when the disc arrived. I did find the subs hilarious though and that was a deciding factor in actually making the purchase.


You know, blasphemous as it seems to be, I’ve never really liked Monty Python, and that might go a long way towards explaining why this doesn’t work as well for me, haha. Though I still found Tampopo largely charming where sometimes Python crosses into outright grating for my tastes.

Humor’s such a nebulous thing.