A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.



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Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Nobuko Miyamoto ...
Man in White Suit
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Kinzô Sakura ...
Yoshi Katô ...
Noodle-making master
Hideji Ôtaki ...
Rich Old Man
Fukumi Kuroda ...
Man in White Suit's mistress
Setsuko Shinoi ...
Old Man's mistress
Yoriko Dôguchi ...
Pearl diver (Oyster girl)
Masahiko Tsugawa ...
Supermarket manager
Yoshihiro Katô ...
Man in White Suit's henchman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mario Abe ...
Restaurant's boss
Sen Hara ...
Old woman in supermarket


In this humorous paean to the joys of food, the main story is about trucker Goro, who rides into town like a modern Shane to help Tampopo set up the perfect noodle soup restaurant. Woven into this main story are a number of smaller stories about the importance of food, ranging from a gangster who mixes hot sex with food, to an old woman who terrorizes a shopkeeper by compulsively squeezing his wares. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The first Japanese noodle western!




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tanpopo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 it. See more »


Man in White Suit: I'll kill you if you make that noise once the movie starts! Understand? And... I also don't like watch alarms going off.
See more »


Spoofed in Dead Sushi (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

My All-Time Favorite Movie!
25 July 2002 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

I just keep watching this movie over and over again. Why? It's hard to say exactly. Sure, the acting is great and the story is terrific, but what makes "Tampopo" so special is harder to define. I like to think of it as optimism; the belief that people in this world still do nice things for other people. Or maybe that romance can strike when you least expect it. Sure, this is a movie about food, you've heard all about that, but more importantly it's a movie about people. People working together, eating together, striving together, and accomplishing together.

The script is flawless. Every scene blends into the next, and takes you someplace new. The narrative sidetracks away from the main story from time to time, leading to the most conceptual and entertining scenes. Tampopo is an adventure on a very small and personal scale. It's a charming movie, unlike any other I've seen, well worth a look.

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