About the history of Ramen

History of ramen

The first ramen sold in Japan in 1884 was “Shio Ramen”!?
“Nanjing Soba” provided at Yowaken, a Japanese restaurant in Hakodate in 1884, is the root of Japanese ramen and is said to be salt ramen. However, there are no detailed materials left, so it is not certain.

The basic form of salt reman is made by seasoning clear soup using kelp, seafood, and pork bones, chicken breasts, vegetable, etc. with salt.
In 1910, “Soy Sauce Ramen” was born in Japan’s first ramen shop.
Opened in 1910 in Tokyo, Asakusa’s “Raidenken” is the first ramen shop in Japan and is said to be the birthplace of “soy sauce ramen” and the origin of Tokyo ramen.
Soy sauce ramen is also called “Shoyu ramen” or “Chinese noodles”, and chicken garage soup is the mainstream, but it is diversified with pork bones, beef bones, and seafood soup. There are many shops where menma, chopped green onions, and thinly sliced char siu are placed, and this is also diversified.
In 1930, the local ramen “Sano Ramen” was born in Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture.
In 1916, the owner of Asakusa “Daikenken” opened the Western restaurant “Ebisu Shokudo” in Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture, and ramen was provided by Chinese chef. “Horaiken” opened in 1930 by Risaburo Ogawa who learned how to make noodles from this chef is said to be the origin of Sano Ramen.
Sano ramen is a local ramen found in Kita Kanto, centered on Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture. Noodles are strong and vary in thickness from medium thickness to thin noodles and flats. Soups are characterized by a rich soy sauce taste, but differ depending on the store.

Transition from the “Traditional Ramen” to the Modern Ramen

How was the Japanese ramen born that captivated me and everyone so far. Before we do that, let’s check what is the general ramen of today. To quote from a book, “Ramen is a noodle dish that is a mixture of soup, noodles, and toppings. When flavored vegetables are added to it, the smell peculiar to animal is reduced and the taste is deepened. The taste is distinguished by the basic seasoning if soy sauce, miso and salt called sauce. Is also gaining popularity due to the flavor of ingredients such as pork bone and chicken white water. The noodles use brackish water (alkaline aqueous solution) when kneading the flour, giving it a unique smooth texture.” (Source:”Ramen Guidebook”)
Ramen, which was a Chinese food, changed its name to “Traditional soba” and “China soba” as the time passed, and it became a popular gourmet food. Then I want to look on why it could be. In 1910, “Kuraiken” was opened in Asakusa, which was the prosperous area in Japan at the time by a chef that was originally from Yokomana China Town. It is said that the first ramen in Japan that have provided “China Soba” on the signboard that have been confirmed. Ramen eaten with entertainment in a cutting-edge city such as Kabuki and movie. Although it was still a poorly recognized foreign dish at the time, it can be easily imagined that it became popular due to its rarity and friendliness similar to Japanese Soba.
In the early Showa period, Chinese people spread ramen nationwide, including Sapporo, Kitakata (Fukushima Prefecture), and Kurume (Fukuoka Prefecture). It is a ramen that wasn’t as familiar as a Chinese dish, but it seems that the post-war ramen has become more like the modern-day Japanese style. Ramen using wheat, which was easier to obtain than rice, spread rapidly across the country by food stalls. Long-established establishments such as pork bone ramen stores in Tokyo as well as Kyushu, and miso ramen stores in Sapporo are concentrated in the Showa 20’s (1945~54).

Internet “Real” information creates a further boom

Ramen which was considered an extension of Japanese buckwheat noodles in Tokyo as “China Soba” and “Traditional Soba”, has undergone a change as a new culture in the nationwide development of miso ramen and pork bone ramen. Local ramen, which was previously regarded as local food, became widespread in the 1965~74 as instant ramen and franchise development, forming a basic genre such as Sapporo miso ramen and Hakata pork bone ramen.
The birth of the Internet is what supports the popularity of ramen. In 1995, Windows95 was announced, and the communication network spread rapidly. Until then, the information that had to be received on TV and paper media could be exchanged on the homepage of a web and SNS, and it was possible to share information reflecting the real voice.
Real-time information – that is, you can get timely information such as providing news stores, back menus, and popular destinations for free, and disseminate them. The huge amount of ramen information in the country collected from over 30,000 stores nationwide and the characteristics of the Internet match, and it can be said that the popularity of ramen has increased rapidly. The times have changed from PC’s to smartphones, and the internet environment has become increasingly convenient. The future of ramen that coexists with information is bright.

Internet “Real” information creates a further boom

Ramen which was considered an extension of Japanese buckwheat noodles in Tokyo as “China Soba” and “Traditional Soba”, has undergone a change as a new culture in the nationwide development of miso ramen and pork bone ramen. Local ramen, which was previously regarded as local food, became widespread in the 1965~74 as instant ramen and franchise development, forming a basic genre such as Sapporo miso ramen and Hakata pork bone ramen.
The birth of the Internet is what supports the popularity of ramen. In 1995, Windows95 was announced, and the communication network spread rapidly. Until then, the information that had to be received on TV and paper media could be exchanged on the homepage of a web and SNS, and it was possible to share information reflecting the real voice.
Real-time information – that is, you can get timely information such as providing news stores, back menus, and popular destinations for free, and disseminate them. The huge amount of ramen information in the country collected from over 30,000 stores nationwide and the characteristics of the Internet match, and it can be said that the popularity of ramen has increased rapidly. The times have changed from PC’s to smartphones, and the internet environment has become increasingly convenient. The future of ramen that coexists with information is bright.


The world-renowned “Japanese food” ramen

In October 2014, ramen shops were featured in the “Michelin Guide 2015 Tokyo Edition”, which was the mainstay of the ramen industry. Although there was no star, 22 ramen shops were listed in the section of the restaurant “Bib Guru Man” recommended by investigators who can eat for less than 5,000 yen and have a high cost performance.
What Japanese people call “national food” is “tempura” and “sushi” for foreigners. Until then, ramen was still recognized as a genre of fast food and Chinese food, but it was finally listed as an independent food in a global gourmet guide. In short, it is no exaggeration to day that ramen has been recognized by the world as a Japanese Food.
In 2014, Cool Japan Fund announced a loan of 2 billion yen for “Hakata Ippudo”, to open pork bone ramen stores world-wide. It can be said that ramen as a Japanese food is ready to capture the heart of everyone in the world.


“Ajisen Ramen” pioneer overseas

Ramen’s expansion into the world was inspired by Kyushu / Kumamoto ramen shop “Ajisen Ramen”. In 1994, the first overseas store was opened in Taiwan, then Beijing in 1995 and in Hong Kong in 1996. Opening in the Hong Kong market, where the restaurant market is particularly prominent, had an impact on overseas expansion of big names such as Hakata Ippudo and Menya Musashi.