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Early Modern Noodles and the Myth of Ramen

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Chapter Summary

As Japan's affinity with soba and udon grew, it was only a matter of time before other noodle dishes caught the public's fancy. A persistent myth about the origin of ramen in Japan is presented in many popular Japanese books and ramen-related museum in Yokohama . According to the myth, Shu Shunsui, Japan's First Chinese Chef taught Mito Komon to make ramen, making Mito Kōmon the first Japanese to eat ramen. Edo history may help in unraveling the mystery of when exactly the Japanese started to eat meat. Eating meat was a defining step in the genesis of ramen: meat was essential both for the soup and the toppings. As the Tokugawa era ebbed into its last years during the mid-nineteenth century, Japan started to experience political unrest, which eventually culminated in a disturbing level of social upheaval.

Keywords:Japanese; meat; Mito Komon; myth; ramen



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