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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Sunday, November 03, 2013


The Curious Cup Noodle

A Japanese variation on basketball arcade game. Instead of throwing mini basketballs through a mini basketball hoop, players are invited to throw balls into a the mouth of a Cup Noodle pot that opens and closes with a tantalising, and rather creepy, smirk. "Ball me!" the pot seems to be imploring. Cup noodles are tasty to humans, small orange balls are tasty to Cup Noodles. The message seems to be in Japan the Cup Noodles bite back. Cup Noodles smile. They are alive. Nissin even produced a Cup Noodle robot to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their invention last year.
There is also something fundamentally strange or incongruous about pot noodle pots even to the Japanese. In a country where to be is to be visible, there is greater expectation for things to be as they appear. Cup Noodles are however, unlike most Japanese food which is eaten with the eyes, in appearances quite unappetizing: a cylinder of expanded polystyrene, industrial lettering, without even an attempted at any imagery that might stimulate the appetite. They are however fairly tasty, and extremely convenient so they have persisted and are sold in great number, all the while arousing a sense of absurdity in their Japanese consumers.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.