Today marks the 105th birthday of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. Though he is mostly known for feeding hungry college kids, inspiring trendy restaurants and spawning interesting burger innovations, Ando's noodles are regarded as one of Japan's top inventions of the 20th century. As a result, Ando has earned the respect and love of ramen aficionados around the world. To honor the contributions he made to society, Google artist Sophie Diao created this lighthearted and fun Google Doodle.
Born in Taiwan in 1910, Ando moved to Japan after World War II. In his biography, Ando claims that he was inspired to create instant noodles after seeing Japanese people wait in line for hours just for a bowl of ramen during the aftermath of the war. Ando wanted to figure out a way to create the nation's comfort food in a way that was cheap and easy. He hoped that inexpensive ramen could one day to end world hunger. Though there are some holes in this selfless story that Vox has pointed out, one cannot deny the sheer perseverance it took Ando to create the iconic dish. It took him 48 years to perfect the instant meal that many people have turned to in times of hunger, stress and laziness. He also didn't stop there. Ando was in his 90s when he created "Space Ram," because, as he put it, "people have to eat no matter where they go, even outer space."
In honor of his birthday, we've gathered some of Ando's most sage quotes:
"Inspiration leads to invention. Tenacity is the breeding ground for inspiration. There can be no invention in the absence of tenacity."
"When you cast away all your greed and fixation in adversity, you can find unexpected strength."
"It is never too late to do anything in life."
"The fundamental misunderstanding of humanity is believing that we can achieve all our desires without limitation."
"Mankind is noodlekind."