English language teachers spreading passion for "sanuki udon" noodles

A pair of English teachers from a Kagawa Prefecture language school are promoting to foreign visitors "sanuki udon" noodle bowls, an udon dish popular in the western Japan prefecture, through a poster explaining the intricacies of eating at a local noodle shop. More than 200 copies of the poster, titled "An English Guide to Sanuki Udon" and made by American Jeremy Lanig and his British coworker Gary Wilkinson, have been distributed to udon eateries in Kagawa. The idea for the poster came from Lanig, a 37-year-old udon enthusiast. Upon arriving in Japan in 2006, he faced the complex system of ordering udon noodle bowls at shops in Kagawa. The noodle bowls, for example, come in different serving styles, such as "kake" (basic, in hot broth) and "kamatama" (just out of pot, eaten with a raw egg and soy sauce). Eager to simplify the ordering process for newcomers, Lanig and 31-year-old Wilkinson started working on an infographic poster last July. Their effort resulted in a colorful illustrated guide about the kinds of udon bowls offered at a typical shop and how to order them. Lanig said he struggled with some Japanese words that cannot easily be translated into English, while Wilkinson, who handled the illustrations, said he used vivid colors so the poster would stand out. They began distributing posters in October and the response has been positive, with some shop owners finding them useful to learn English themselves. The duo has also received inquiries about the poster from shops outside the prefecture. "The poster is useful not just for overseas customers but also for us to learn how to explain (the dish) in English," said Shimpei Yonetsu, who runs an udon restaurant in Takamatsu. Lanig said he hopes their efforts will lead more people to understand and experience the world of sanuki udon noodles. ==Kyodo

Apr 23, 2017 | KYODO NEWS