This exhibition touches on the history and culture of ramen, but its primary goal is to spotlight the donburi itself. To examine donburi more closely, these bowls are “dissected” and observed in detail, like a specimen. Then, in the hands of thirty artists, the bowls serve as blank canvases on which the fun, the deliciousness and the many possibilities of ramen are uniquely expressed. In addition, the exhibition introduces the region of Mino – Japan’s largest producer of porcelain ramen bowls – and its long and important history of ceramic production, from tea bowls to house wares to donburi.
Ramen – wheat noodles served in soup with toppings – were introduced to Japan in the late 19th century, grew popular over the following decades and became deeply connected with the culture of postwar Japan. A fast food served in a single bowl, the hot noodle soup can satisfy hunger for a reasonable price. Originally Chinese, this everyday dish has evolved differently in each region of Japan, featuring diverse ingredients and seasonings.