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Tampopo (1985) Poster

(1985)

Trivia

The omelet cook tramp sequence is a visual tribute to Charles Chaplin.
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Many elements of the film closely parallel a classic Western. Goro is the mysterious stranger who rides into town; he saves the pretty girl from harassing bad men, and even has a brawl with another man at the edge of town.
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Slurping noodles is considered polite in Japan. It is a way for the customer to show his appreciation to the cook.
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The exhausted woman who is married to the running man is suffering from "karoshi", which means "worked to death". Many people suffer from overwork in Japan, and many more die from this condition.
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The noodle cook in the train station is quite realistic. Japanese train stations are filled with small noodle-shops, diners, and lunch-stands, especially since many trains do not offer food for sale on board.
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When Goro is washing his truck he dumps a bucketful of water on it but uses no soap. This is actually a washing ritual that is part of the Shinto religion.
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The pearl diver carries no air tanks, which is true to life. Traditional Japanese pearl divers use only their lungs, but have phenomenal breath control. Some can stay underwater for up to seven minutes.
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The gangster dressed all in white seems comedic, but many young Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) do dress in flashy clothes. Older Yakuza bosses prefer dark, conservative suits.
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The old name of Tampopo's restaurant, when she first meets Gorô and Gan, is Rai Rai Ken. Years later, when the first authentic râmen-ya opened in New York City, it took its name from this scene.
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When the junior executive orders something different from his bosses, his immediate superior kicks him. This is meant to put him in his place. In the Japanese corporate hierarchy, the lower echelon workers are supposed to follow their leader's direction at all times.
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Goro means "bull" in Japanese.
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Nobuko Miyamoto sadly became a widow herself when her husband Jûzô Itami, director of this film and many other films featuring her, committed suicide in 1997.
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Music played throughout the film includes Les Preludes by Franz Liszt. This was one of the theme songs of The Lone Ranger radio series (along with the William Tell overture and others).
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One of Edward Norton's favourite movies.
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In the breakfast scene, Tampopo's son's t-shirt reads "Ichiban," which literally means "Number 1" in Japanese.
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Yakuza gangster and her girlfriend sex scenes involves food play and sitophilia, a form of sexual fetishism in which participants are aroused by erotic situations involving food.
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Although there is a composer listed for this film, most of the music is taken from recordings of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5, plus Liszt's Les Preludes. The Adagietto movement of the Mahler 5th was also used heavily in Visconti's "Death in Venice".
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Included in "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
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The Akira Kubo listed above is not the same as the Toho star of the '50s and '60s.
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