Ramen Jiro

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Ramen Jiro
IndustryFoodservice
Founded1968

Ramen Jiro (Japanese: ラーメン二郎, Hepburn: Rāmen Jirō) is a Japanese chain of ramen shops founded by Takumi Yamada. Yamada opened the first Ramen Jiro in Meguro, Tokyo in 1968.[1] As of 2018, there are approximately 40 locations across Japan, over 30 of which are in the greater Tokyo area.[2] Ramen Jiro is known for its large portions and its distinctly flavored broth, which enthusiasts call "Jirorian style."[3][4] In 2009, the Guardian included Ramen Jiro on its list of "The 50 best things to eat in the world".[5]

History[edit]

Ramen Jiro was founded by Yamada in 1968 in the city of Meguro, Tokyo, located near Tokyo Metropolitan University.[1] According to Yamada, the restaurant initially served a thinner, lighter style of ramen.[6] However, with the help of a neighboring Chinese restaurant, Yamada developed the new, distinctive flavor that became known as "Jirorian style." This style is characterized by a salty shoyu and tonkotsu soup base, with thick dense noodles and fatty pork chunks.[7]

During Tokyo's redevelopment in the early 1970s, the first Ramen Jiro shop moved to Mita, Tokyo. During the move, there was an error in painting the sign, using the characters 二郎 instead of 次郎 for Jirō, a common boy's name. Instead of correcting it, Yamada decided to change the characters of the name to 二郎.[1]

Ramen Jiro quickly gained popularity among Keio students due to its close proximity to Keio University.[6][8] In 1995, the shop in Mita was forced to relocate due to the city's redevelopment. As a result, students petitioned the university to move the restaurant to the Keio campus.[8] The University administration declined the petition, but Yamada managed to move the shop to another location in Mita, where the flagship shop now stands.[1] Additionally in 1995, Ramen Jiro opened its second shop in Meguro and the franchise has steadily expanded since.[9]

Nutrition[edit]

One small-sized bowl of Jiro's ramen is estimated to contain a combined 300g of broth and noodles with an estimated 1600 kcal,[10][11] whereas the average small-sized bowl at a typical Japanese ramen shop contains under 200g of broth and noodles and 600 kcal.[12] Since Jiro's ramen is high in carbohydrates and fats and has little nutritional value,[13] it is often described as a junk food by food critics.[3][14]

Reception[edit]

Aficionados[edit]

Ramen Jiro has an avid fan base called Jirorian (ジロリアン).[15] According to Noriko Arai, an economics professor at Sophia University, Ramen Jiro employs a "worshipper" type of marketing, relying on a small group of enthusiastic customers, typically students and salarymen.[4] Some Jirorians make a pact to visit all 40 Jiro franchises[3] and regard the first shop in Mita as "the sacred place."

Internet culture[edit]

Twitter user @habomajiro, known for his unique daily reviews of Ramen Jiro, gathered more than 35,000 followers. When he stopped his updates due to "an unexpected accident," several prominent Japanese internet sites reported the incident.[16][17]

In 2018, data scientist Kenji Doi created software that was able to pinpoint at which of the 40 locations a bowl of ramen was made just by uploading a picture of the ramen. Utilizing the alpha version of AutoML by Google, it had a 94.5% success rate when differentiating between the locations despite the bowls looking so similar.[18] After its publication on Twitter, the software was featured by several tech publications, including Google[18] and The Verge.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "G-Search "side B" - ラーメンではない食べ物?「ラーメン二郎」って何". db.g-search.or.jp. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  2. ^ "Jiro: The Best Junk Food Ramen in Tokyo". Tokyo Weekender. 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  3. ^ a b c Gross, Matt. "Exploring Tokyo Through Its Ramen Shops". Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  4. ^ a b "なぜラーメン二郎は"パクリ店"を許すのか 本家本元としての価値がより高まる | プレジデントオンライン". PRESIDENT Online - PRESIDENT (in Japanese). 2018-01-30. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  5. ^ Fox, Killian (2009-09-12). "″The 50 best foods in the world and where to eat them″". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  6. ^ a b "二郎インタビュー". www.sthills.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  7. ^ "Ramen Jiro | ラーメン二郎 三田本店". Ramen Beast. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  8. ^ a b "May No Student Go Hungry: The Cuisine of Mita Yamashoku and Ramen Jiro: Keio University". Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  9. ^ "ラーメン二郎店舗一覧 | ラーメン二郎館|ニンニク入れますか?". xn--4dkp5a8a4562a1c2fvhm.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  10. ^ "Ramen Jiro, 1600 kcal in one bowl – Japan Info". Japan Info. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  11. ^ "連載「人気グルメの解剖学 -錯覚の美食-」第1回 ラーメン二郎 | FOODLABO[フード・ラボ] by 柴田書店". 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  12. ^ "Tonkatsu Ramen - 1 bowl". www.nutritionix.com. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  13. ^ "二郎系は隠れた健康食!?Retty二郎系担当とライザップのトレーナーの異色対談 | Rettyグルメニュース". Retty (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  14. ^ McCurry, Justin (2010-06-18). "Ramen - Japan's super slurpy noodles". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  15. ^ Gang, Chen; Reisel, Mary (2018). International Journal of Business Anthropology, Volume 7 (2). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 1527514714.
  16. ^ "ラーメン二郎を毎日食べ続けたジロリアン 「アクシデント発生のため、二郎巡りが困難」となり更新終了 - ライブドアニュース". ライブドアニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  17. ^ "ラーメン二郎をほぼ毎日食べる人、突然のTwitter終了報告にファン悲鳴 - Excite Bit コネタ" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  18. ^ a b "AutoML Vision in action: from ramen to branded goods | Google Cloud Blog". Google Cloud Blog. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  19. ^ "Google's machine learning software can now categorize ramen by shop". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-10-19.