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Late Noodle King Of Japan To Be Blasted Into Space

Momofuku Ando, the noodle king. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Feb 28, 2007
The Japanese inventor of instant noodles will symbolically blast off into space next week at his funeral at a baseball stadium officiated by three dozen monks, his company said Friday. The funeral for Momofuku Ando, who died on January 5 at age 96, took place on Tuesday at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, which can hold as many as 55,000 people, said Nissin Food Products, which Ando founded.

Because Ando tried to reproduce the dangling delicacy for astronauts, the funeral at the closed-dome stadium will feature projections of images from space along with chanting and synthesizer music, said Nissin Food.

In a sign of his instant noodles' success, top business leaders and a major former prime minister, Yasuhiro Nakasone, will deliver eulogies at the funeral, to be officiated by 34 monks.

"Momofuku Ando invented 'Chicken Ramen' and 'Cup Noodle.' Before his death, he devoted his efforts to inventing space noodles," a Nissin statement said.

"So our company has decided to use the space theme to conduct the corporate funeral to see off the late Momofuku Ando into space," it said.

Born in Taiwan under Japanese occupation, Ando created a multibillion-dollar industry in 1958 when he invented a dried noodle cake that could be served in minutes by pouring water over it in a bowl.

In his biography, Ando said he was inspired to develop the product when he saw a long line of people in war-ravaged Osaka waiting to buy steaming noodles at a black market stall.

"Peace prevails when food suffices," he said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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