Americanization of Student and Teacher Relationship in The Ramen Girl Essay

Americanization of Student and Teacher Relationship in The Ramen Girl Essay

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Confucian beliefs have played an important role in the East Asian societies for centuries, thus Japan is not an exception. One of the main features of Confucianism is the set of five hierarchical orders, one of them being the master and his disciple interaction. It can be adapted to a specific relationship between a ramen noodle master and his apprentice. This kind of interactions has been shown in the Japanese film Tampopo and its modern American remake The Ramen Girl. In both films the student and teacher interaction can be seen as one of the main, if not the most important, narrative strands, around which all the action is centred. This essay will be dealing with this hierarchical order in the context of The Ramen Girl, where the relationship is rather Americanized and goes against the Japanese traditions. The main character is not only disrespectful of her teacher, but is overall very ignorant towards the Japanese culture. This movie will be compared to the already mentioned “noodle western” Tampopo, where the hierarchy is much more evident, despite being slightly modernized. Therefore, while using the medium of food and hierarchical order of Confucianism, both films successfully tell the viewers a lot about the way people interact in the portrayed nations.
The Ramen Girl is an American-Japanese film directed by Robert Allan Ackerman in 2008, it is said to be a loose remake of the infamous Japanese film Tampopo (1985). The main plot of the picture is centred on Abby, played by Brittany Murphy, an American girl who followed her boyfriend to Tokyo but got discarded shortly after the arrival. Heart-broken and lost, she accidentally came around a noodle shop, where her destiny changed. After being served a bowl of ramen noodles, A...


... middle of paper ...


... the collective work more compared to the individual merit. As Confucianism is still very important in this state, so is the respect to the elders, especially to the teacher, which is just like a parent, who cannot only guide his student through the particular training, but influence the whole life course. 



Works Cited

Ackerman, Robert Allan, dir. The Ramen Girl. Media 8 Entertainment, 2008. DVD.
Ashkenazi, Michael. "Food, Play, Business, and the Image of Japan in Itami Juzo's Tampopo". In Anne Bower, ed., Reel Food: Essays on Food and Film.New York: Routledge, 2004. Print
Itami, Jūzō, dir. Tampopo. Itami Productions, 1985. DVD.
Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko. "The Ambivalent Self of the Contemporary Japanese." Cultural Anthropology 5.2 (1990): 197-216. Print.
"The The Ramen Girl." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 25 Dec. 2013.
"Tampopo." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 25 Dec. 2013.

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