Naruto’s creator Masashi Kishimoto drew inspiration for his iconic manga story from a popular eatery he visited as a college student.
It’s no secret Naruto Uzumaki loves ramen, a dish whose versatile flavors are matched only by the chef’s creativity that makes it. From his days of running the streets as an orphan to his time as the Seventh Hokage, throughout the series, Naruto never missed a chance to eat ramen at his favorite noodle shop, the small, family-owned restaurant called Ramen Ichiraku. While Naruto’s love for the frame of the manga may have come from his mother, his preference for it was inspired by real-life events.
Years before Naruto’s creator, Masashi Kishimoto, came up with the idea for the iconic manga character, he was a college student in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka. In a nation famous for its ramen, Fukuoka is home to the very popular tonkotsu, the style of ramen, which offers noodles served in a rich broth made from pork bones cooked for hours. During his time in Fukuoka, Kishimoto developed a taste for the local tonkotsu ramen style, and his favorite ramen restaurant was a small, family-owned restaurant known as Ramen Ichiraku.
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In a 2014 interview with the Japanese network Sora News, Kishimoto revealed that he was a frequent diner at Ramen Ichiraku, so much so that over time he became friends with the owner and staff, just as Naruto became friends with Teuchi, the owner of the manga version. of Ramen Ichiraku and his daughter Ayame. The similarities between the stories of the two restaurants are striking. Like in the manga, the real world Ramen Ichiraku, where Kishimoto ate, was eventually shut down. However, a newer, larger place was opened shortly after. Where the original could have served as a way for art to imitate life, the new location is about life that mimics art, as it is modeled after the manga version of Ramen Ichiraku. Just as the manga version seemed to benefit from Naruto’s progress in power and significance, so the real version has benefited from the popularity of Kishimoto’s manga.
Since Kishimoto makes no secret of how his personal experiences, such as the birth of his children, have affected what he did with Naruto, it is not hard to imagine how many of the scenes with Naruto by Ramen Ichiraku were in fact re-performances of similar experiences that Kishimoto had on the real world Ramen Ichiraku. Judging from the fact that a popular topping for the ramen is a slice of fish cake called “naruto”, whose white and pink spiral-shaped design is reminiscent of runnegan dojutsu, Kishimoto got some inspiration for the manga from his ramen dining experiences at Ramen Ichiraku.
While the real world Ramen Ichiraku go-to dish is the local tonkotsu broth ramen specialty based on pork, it has also developed a special miso broth ramen, just as Naruto likes it. Both in the real world and practically Ramen Ichiraku serves as a hub for creative activity and Naruto tribute.
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Source: The Model of NARUTO’s Ramen Shop
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