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Doc NYC Nov 12th, 2021
Masamoto Ueda is a ramen master in the documentary Come Back Anytime, and this title is perfect to reflect his attitude and love for his regular customer base. He’s the owner/operator of Bizentei, a shop located roughly between Shinjuku, Bunkyo and Chiyoda City (municipalities of Tokyo). It’s not too far off the beaten path, and he gets his regular customers and the occasional newcomer.
Ueda became a legend in the forty years since he’s been in business, and when he’s not tending to the shop, he’s gardening. Everything he offers in the diner is handpicked by him. From pears to bamboo shoots, he’s very particular. And this documentary is an excellent profile. It doesn’t reveal his cooking secrets, but instead shows just how loved he is by the local neighbourhood community. We get to see what he does in his spare time, and this look only rounds out who he is. He’s sometimes a grand father too.
It’ll be sad to see him retire, but that day will soon come. This reminder is often mentioned, and there’s nothing but feelings of admiration and loss by those interviewed here when it happens. He’s a fixture of the neighbourhood, and in some ways, the jazz inspired soundtrack evokes the familiar. It draws in that feeling of nostalgia and also reminds us of what Mr. Rogers often sings, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighbourhood, a beautiful day for a neighbour, would you be mine, could you be mine?” Ever since he established himself with that reputation, his success story is one to admire and love.
5 Blokes out of 5