Tora-san, a famous figure in Japanese culture, was a lifelong bohemian who has since been immortalized in film and literature. Kikuji Takei, a ramen maestro who saw in himself something of Tora-san's unconventional spirit, opened "Torashokudo," the popular ramen shop from which Shirakawa ramen eventually evolved into a distinctive style. Characteristic of Shirakawa ramen are broad, curly noodles made using large amounts of water; these catch soup while slurping much better than do Kitakata-style ramen noodles from across the prefecture.
A traditional method of noodle making is notably preserved in Shirakawa; faithful shops use a wooden stick to beat the noodles and knives to cut them. Curls are formed by massaging the noodles with the hands.
Shirakawa ramen features a very basic clear shoyu base, although it is generally heavier on the soy sauce than the extremely light, almost watery soup of nearby Kitakata ramen.
Additionally, Shirakawa ramen shops often prepare chashu in a more classically Chinese manner, indicated by a red trim around the perimeter of each slice.
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