Delicious Movies: Tonkatsu, Curry,
Tonkatsu, curry, and ramen are three of the most beloved foods among Japanese people. Tonkatsu is breaded pork cutlet, curry is stew-like thick soup served with rice, and ramen is greasy doodle soup. They are not sophisticated cuisine, but tasty and make your stomach full at an affordable price. They are usually served at casual, cozy restaurants in you neighborhood. Because of their popularity, Japanese premier movies employed eating scenes of those foods.
Legendary Director Yasujiro Ozu’s favorite was tonkatsu and he often went to Horaiya restaurant. It is still in existence as an upscale restaurant in Ueno, Tokyo, but it started from a food stall and used to be a casual restaurant. The interior similar to Horaiya was used in the set of Ozu’s 1962 film “Sanma no Aji (Taste of Saury), where Sada asked his subordinate Yoshida to marry his sister while they were eating tonkatsu.
An unforgettable scene related with tonkatsu is Director
Yoji Yamada’s 1977 film “The Yellow Handkerchief.” A man who was just
released from a prison enters a restaurant and orders tonkatsu, ramen,
and a bottle of beer. Actor Ken Takakura played the role of the man and
ate the food all at once. Director Yamada said, “Takakura didn’t eat anything
for two days to portray the reality of the man, who had dreamed of eating
tonkatsu and ramen in his prison time.”
Director Juzo Itami’s 1985 film “Tampopo (dandelion)” is a story of a single mother, who runs a rundown ramen restaurant. He kept the image of “Shane” in his mind and wanted to make a film about the struggle of a single mother through a ramen restaurant. Actress, and his wife, Nobuko Miyamoto played the role of the woman. She said that Itami and she visited many ramen restaurants in the Tokyo area. The film “Tampopo” was premiered in the U.S. in 1986 and made a big hit.
Curry restaurant Jiyu-ken (freedom eave) is a vulgar
restaurant in Osaka, and has been since its inception in 1910. Its curry
and rice with poached egg became famous when Sakunosuke Oda wrote a novel
Meoto Zenzai, a wife and husband story in 1940.
Tonkatsu served at Horaiya
Curry and rice served at Jiyu-ken restaurant
Famous curry restaurant Jiyu-ken is located near Hozenji-Yokocho in Osaka