This etegami was inspired by a TV commercial that has been stuck in repeat-mode inside my head. It's part of a long series of gently humorous commercials for Maruchan Brand instant ramen noodles, which feature an eccentric old ramen-stand proprietor and his young assistant. In this one, they have set up their stand on an almost-deserted windswept beach. A young man is yelling with frustration at the sea. They invite him over to the stand and he sits down. He confesses he has just been dumped by his girlfriend. "That's great," says the assistant. "Hot noodles will heal what ails ya," says the old man.
Etegami (e= "picture"; tegami= "letter/message") are simple drawings accompanied by a few apt words. They are usually done on postcards so that they can be easily mailed off to one's friends. Though etegami has few hard-and-fast rules, traditional tools and materials include writing brushes, sumi ink, blocks of water-soluble, mineral-based pigments called gansai, and washi postcards that have varying degrees of "bleed." They often depict some ordinary item from everyday life, especially items that bring a particular season to mind.