Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
This has been called a Japanese Noodle Western, but unlike the spaghetti-free Italian Spaghetti Westerns, it really does have noodles. It's a very fun and inventive exploration of the relationships people have with food. We see lots of people cooking, eating and discussing food, a mobster and his girlfriend using food erotically (a year before Nine 1/2 Weeks became notorious for doing the same thing) and the film ends with a baby nursing. The film opens with the mobster and his girlfriend in a movie theater watching a truck driver in a black-and-white movie called "Tampopo." Then it becomes the color film we are watching. The truck driver stops to eat at a small family noodle shop and ends up helping the woman who runs it to become a very successful master cook.
In the turtle scene, a man is saved from choking to death in a restaurant by several people who put a vacume hose in his mouth. He offers to buy them all a special suppon dinner. They gather around the chef who pulls out a live suppon, or soft-shelled turtle, which he says is a wild one taken from the Kuma River. When a woman tries to touch it she is warned that it has teeth like razors that can bite a finger clean off. The chef cuts the area between the top of the shell and the head, and drains the blood into a bowl. The man tells the crowd that "unless you kill it in one stroke, the muscles contract, the blood congeals and it won't taste as good." Next there is a cut to the people eating something at their table. The turtle was a real live softshell turtle and was killed on screen.