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Saimen or ramen?

Xkavar

wishing for a girlfriend
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Around the Big Island of Hawai`i, specifically Pahoa, Hilo and the general east side, we refer to ramen noodles as "saimen". Now, I'm the only person outside of Hawai`i to call them that. Am I crazy? Is this even correct or does saimen mean something else in Japanese?

Figured ya'll would know to explain.
 

epigene

相変わらず不束者です
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No, you're not crazy, Xkavar!

"Saimen' is another term for "hoso-men," or thin noodles. The term was probably used to contrast the thin ramen noodles to the thick noodles (such as udon noodles). Why "saimen" became dominant over "ramen" or "hoso-men" in the Hilo area, I don't know. I suspect that the term was brought over in the old days of the first Japanese immigrants (probably from Hiroshima). It probably stayed that way in Hawaii while names of noodles evolved in Japan.

Nagashima-san is a ramen lover. He might have the definitive answer.
 
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