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Tampopo (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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Tampopo -- Featurette: Alice Waters and Sam White on Tampopo


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Release Date:
September 1987 (USA) See more »
The first Japanese noodle western!
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
9 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The Wild Bunch at the noodle shop. Slurp! See more (82 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Gorô
Nobuko Miyamoto ... Tampopo

Kôji Yakusho ... Man in White Suit

Ken Watanabe ... Gun
Rikiya Yasuoka ... Pisuken
Kinzô Sakura ... Shôhei
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
Isao Hashizume ... Waiter
Narutoshi Hayashi ... Accompaning Man
Hisashi Igawa ... Running Man
Kensô Katô ... Young Employee
Nobuo Nakamura ... Old Gentleman
Mariko Okada ... Supageti Sensei
Yoshihei Saga ... Salary Man
Hitoshi Takagi ... Chinatown (Old Man)
Chôei Takahashi ... Salary Man
Ei Takami ... Tall and Slender Homeless
Akio Tanaka ... Salary Man
Ryûtarô Ôtomo ... Ramen Master
Kôji Sekiyama ... Designer (uncredited)

Directed by
Jûzô Itami 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jûzô Itami 

Produced by
Seigo Hosogoe .... producer
Jûzô Itami .... producer
Yasushi Tamaoki .... producer
Original Music by
Kunihiko Murai 
Cinematography by
Masaki Tamura 
Film Editing by
Akira Suzuki 
Casting by
Shigeru Sakurada 
Kosaburo Sasaoka 
Art Direction by
Takeo Kimura 
Set Decoration by
Toshiharu Ochi 
Costume Design by
Emiko Kogô 
Makeup Department
Midori Konuma .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Shinji Iwashita .... production supervisor
Takashi Kawasaki .... executive in charge of production
Tadahiko Osada .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nobuhiro Kubota .... second assistant director
Kazuki Shirayama .... assistant director
Kenji Suzuki .... third assistant director
Art Department
Hiroshi Maruyama .... assistant art director
Kuranosuke Omata .... props
Yoshiyasu Teo .... props
Sound Department
Fumio Hashimoto .... sound recordist
Daisuke Hayashi .... sound recordist
Makoto Katsuragi .... sound recordist
Kyôji Kôno .... re-recording mixer
Masatoshi Saitô .... sound effects editor
Nobuhiro Shibayama .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Yasuo Ochiai .... photo effects
Masatsugu Takase .... fight choreographer
Camera and Electrical Department
Yukio Inoue .... gaffer
Emi Itô .... camera operator
Norimichi Kasamatsu .... camera operator
Hiromi Kato .... lighting technician
Shûichi Machida .... lighting technician
Yûji Meguro .... still photographer
Yôko Mitsumori .... camera operator
Takashi Moro .... camera operator
Yukinori Okamoto .... lighting technician
Shinobu Saitô .... lighting technician
Kenji Takeuchi .... still photographer
Hirokazu Uetake .... key grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kumiko Imai .... stylist assistant
Editorial Department
Shizuo Arakawa .... negative cutter
Kanichi Yoneyama .... assistant editor
Music Department
Hiroshi Koizumi .... conductor
Fumitaka Yasunishi .... synthesizer
Other crew
Shintarô Ajioka .... title designer
Akiko Horikita .... continuity
Izumi Ishimori .... food designer
Seiko Ogawa .... culinary stylist
Shigeko Ohara .... dialect supervisor (as Jôko Ôhara)
Kenichi Samura .... graphic designer
Sadao Shôji .... production staff
Mugai Yamada .... signs
Mimi Yamazaki .... publicity producer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dandelion" - International (English title) (informal literal title)
"Tampopo: A Ramen Western" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

In the breakfast scene, Tampopo's son's t-shirt reads "Ichiban," which literally means "Number 1" in Japanese.See more »
Old gentleman:Tampopo! Congratulations!See more »
Movie Connections:


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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
The Wild Bunch at the noodle shop. Slurp!, 6 October 2002
Author: Dennis Littrell from United States

There are any number of very funny scenes in this lightly plotted and highly episodic romantic comedy from acclaimed Japanese director Juzo Itami. You may recall him as the guy who got in trouble with the Yakuza, the Japanese "mafia," because they didn't like the way he made fun of them in Minbo no onna (1992). You may also know that he committed suicide at the age of 64 in 1997 after being accused of adultery. He is the son of samurai film maker Mansaku Itami. I mention this since one of the things satirized here are samurai films.

But--and perhaps this is the secret of Itami's success both in Japan and elsewhere--the satire is done with a light, almost loving touch. Even though he also takes dead aim at spaghetti westerns and the Japanese love affair with food, especially their predilection for fast food noodle soup, at no time is there any rancor or ugliness in his treatment.

If you've seen any Itami film you will be familiar with his star, his widow, Nobuko Miyamoto, she of the very expressive face, who is perhaps best known for her role as the spirited tax collector in Itami's The Taxing Woman (1987) and The Taxing Woman Returns (1988). She has appeared in all of his films. Here she is Tampopo ("Dandelion"), a not entirely successful proprietor of a noodle restaurant. Along comes not Jones but Tsutmu Yamazaki as Goro, a kind of true grit, but big-hearted Japanese urban cowboy. He ambles up to the noodle bar and before long establishes himself as a kind of John Wayne hero intent on teaching Tampopo how the good stuff is made. Along the way Itami makes fun of stuffy bureaucrats, macho Japanese males, heroic death scenes, Japanese princesses attempting to acquire a European eating style, movie fight scenes, and God knows what else.

The comedy is bizarre at times. The sexual exchange of an egg yoke between the man in the white suit (Koji Yakusho) and his mistress (Fukumi Kuroda) might make you laugh or it might just gross you out. The enthusiastic description of the "yam sausages" from inside a wild boar is strange. Surely one is not salivating at such an entre, but one can imagine that such a "delicacy" might surely exist and have its devotees.

Indeed an Itami film has a kind of logic all its own. An exemplary scene is that of the stressed and dying mother of two young children, who is ordered by her husband to "Get up and cook!" This (reasonably relevant) scene is juxtaposed with the one with the college professor which is about being and getting ripped off--which seems to have little to do with the rest of the movie, yet somehow seems appropriate, perhaps only because they are at a restaurant. Another typical Itami scene is the businessmen at supper. They hem and haw until their chief orders and then they all pretend to debate and consider, and then order exactly the same thing except for one brash young guy who dazzles (and embarrasses) the old sycophantic guys by order a massive meal in French with all the trimmings.

The climax of the film comes with plenty of musical fanfare. As Goro and others sit down at the counter, they are served Tampopo's final culinary creation, the noodle soup now hopefully honed to perfection. As the tension mounts, a musical accompaniment, reminiscent of something like the clock ticking in High Noon (1952), rises to a crescendo. All the while Tampopo sweats and frets and prays that she will triumph, which will be in evidence if, and only if, they drain their soup bowls! (Do they?)

The final credits roll (after some further misdirections and some further burlesque) over a most endearing and ultimately touching shot of a young mother with a beautiful and contented infant feeding at her breast.

Perhaps this was Itami's best film.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

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