A new trend is treating us to vistas of soup rarely seen by humans, whether we like it or not.
I always feel the sign of good art is something that changes my perspective on things, providing new ideas and imagery to stimulate the soul. A new field of photography among ramen otaku called “dorosha“ certainly fits that criteria.
Dorosha is the result of the words “doron” (drone) and “dorodoro” (thick, as in a cream or soup) getting mashed together with “shashin” (photo) for the sake of convenience and ambiguous punning around. The word describes the act of flying a drone inside a ramen restaurant to take an aerial picture of soup. At least it would, if you could afford a drone and find a ramen shop owner tolerant enough to let you fly it inside.
That’s understandably rare, so most, if not all, people just stick their smartphones high in the air to simulate a bird’s eye view.
しゃかりき@中京区 【期間限定】 ベジポタラーメン 830円 濃厚な野菜スープに豚白湯、うまいに決まってるやん🐷 身も心もあったまるラーメン♡ ご飯にかけて食いたなった！ 限定10食/日！早いもん勝ち！！ ドロ写 https://t.co/fjCUDrOJ4o—
魔人がばちょ (@majingabacho) February 16, 2017
KONJIKI深草店@伏見区 台湾まぜそば大400g 850円 元祖を押したつもりが、台湾やったw #ドロ写 https://t.co/znqjlHQZ1n—
魔人がばちょ (@majingabacho) February 27, 2017
きらり@伏見区 塩とんらぁめん 750円 はじめていただいた、らぁめん♪ 濃密なスープ、濃厚なメンマ、銘店だが、南の銘店がここでも！！w #ドロ写 https://t.co/0PF8122ZiG—
魔人がばちょ (@majingabacho) March 10, 2017
札幌ラーメン みそ吟@兵庫県神戸市・阪急三宮 【味噌バターコーンラーメン】 前回お邪魔した時に頂いた、サービス券で大盛に‼️ このコーンの量はインパクト有りです。 札幌には、１回しか行った事ありませんが、自家製麺でこの味‼️レベ… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
キャッシー西中島™ (@Cathie_8888) March 19, 2017
塩+半味玉追加@尼龍 醤油推しだけど塩も旨い 手間暇掛けた手作りなのがイイよね #ドロ写 https://t.co/jJMbrEWBNd—
maroto (@marotochiro) April 14, 2017
Works of dorosha have been getting posted to Twitter at an increasing rate through March and April, but the earliest example seems to belong to a Twitter user and prolific doronsha photographer called Majingabacho to accompany his ramen reviews in December of last year.
とうひち@北区 鶏醤油らぁ麺 750円 地元の支持を受け醤油らぁ麺は老若男女食べやすいマイルド感を表に出されたとの事。 厚み？芳醇？柔らかい？いろんな表現が出てくる。淡麗とは相反する風味。 旨いラーメンに感謝♪ #ドロ写 https://t.co/l40J6Xi8Lb—
魔人がばちょ (@majingabacho) December 22, 2016
When viewed at just below the ceiling, it’s as if you’re a ghost longing for the earthly delight of ramen. Or, when looking at the three-step series of images pioneered by Majingabacho, it’s as if the deliciousness of the soup triggers an out-of-body experience.
▼ Majingabacho even dorosha’ed the legendary Jiro Ramen
二郎京都店@一乗寺 大ラーメンまさかの豚切れ 830円 しょっぱうめぇー♪塩ダレかと思うくらいwww デロリかけの麺、歯応えキープの野菜をしょっぱうめぇスープに浸すと制御効かんまま喰らい続けてまうw 野猿店主を含むスタッフさんがお… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
魔人がばちょ (@majingabacho) April 03, 2017
Despite the rising popularity of doronsha photography, it has been largely condemned by the general public.
“I don’t get it…”
“The act of taking pictures of ramen is pretty pointless to begin with.”
“Why would anyone want to do this?”
“Ramen shops better start banning this crap. Seriously.”
“Is this what drones are used for?”
“They better not be standing on the chairs with their dirty feet to take these photos.”
“They just want to stand out from other ramen otaku. Nothing but posturing.”
“I’m confused, are these actually drones? Why is any of this happening?”
Although dorosha isn’t winning over everyone, businesses aren’t likely to heed the one comment’s advice and ban the practice and the free promotion that comes with it. Kobushi Ramen in Tokyo tweeted a statement regarding their views on dorosha.
▼ “‘Is “dorosha” popular now? If it doesn’t bother the other customers then it’s fine, but we hope you pay attention to your surroundings.”
拳ラーメン (@kobushi_ramen) April 12, 2017
So it would seem that as long as dorosha photographers are mindful of their surroundings and not getting out of hand by climbing on chairs or scattering their dandruff and lint into other people’s bowls, the photo-fest will continue.
And while quite a large majority of people either hate or are confused by dorosha, I rather like it. Then again, I also like black velvet paintings and eggplant crafts so I’ll leave you all to judge it for yourselves.