Ramen is "Racist"? Please...

From HuffPo via Japan Probe:

" As Japan’s most popular Chinese dish, shina soba symbolized the expanding Japanese empire, according to Katarzyna Joanna Cwiertka, author of Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power, and National Identity. By the early 20th century, this empire included Korea, Taiwan, Manchuria, eastern Siberia, parts of China, and many South Pacific islands. Giddy totalitarianism spawned “a China boom” in Japan, Cwiertka asserts:

“Chinese-style decorations, costumes, and products were eagerly consumed by the Japanese public as they translated colonialism into a concrete experience. By physically interacting with China through the ingestion of Chinese food and drink, the Japanese masses were brought closer to the idea of empire.”

In other words, to eat shina soba in those years was to symbolically gobble up China itself. As China represented the empire’s biggest prize, a bowl of shina soba represented nothing less than world domination.

After Japan lost its empire in World War II, the word shina came under fire. Deplored by many as a symbol of imperialist aggression and Japanese wartime atrocities in China and beyond, shina was now seen as a horrific ethnic slur, embodying imperialist xenophobia: in other words, racist. Shina soba was briefly renamed chuka soba; chuka is a less politically incorrect Japanese term for “Chinese-style.” But in 1958, Nissin Foods introduced the first-ever packaged instant version of the dish. As its broth was chicken-flavored, the product was called Chikin Ramen. "

Too lazy to do the links right now, but methinks someone's got their head jammed into those books a little too tightly...