American made, the Japanese way: Meet Ramen Hero’s new brand

Soaring eagles. Horizons stretching as far as the eye can see. A dusty cowboy slowly sauntering through a cattle ranch.

These are the images that come to mind when we think of classic Americana - now they’re the images that will come to mind when we think of ramen.


Ramen Hero’s latest ad isn’t just an ad, although we do hope it inspires noodle lovers to slurp down some delicious ramen. Created by the San Francisco based Iyashi brand studio, the ad is part of a newly unveiled brand relaunch for Ramen Hero aimed at highlighting Japan and America’s rich history of creatively blending cultures, particularly when it comes to food.

"We wanted to use the classic trope of a cowboy and give it a Japanese twist to reinforce Ramen Hero’s mission to make authentic, Honkaku Japanese ramen accessible to every noodle-loving American. Really, it’s a statement about our inclusive culture and what it means to be American."  - Taka Kusui, Iyashi founder

The concept of Honkaku is at the heart of everything Ramen Hero does, and so the same had to hold true for this new brand relaunch. More than a word, Honkaku is an attitude of authenticity, creativity, professionalism, and attention to detail.

The same way Nike has “Just Do It” Ramen Hero has Honkaku, and it’s that spirit you’ll see run through every aspect of the new brand relaunch, from that video above to the newly unveiled logo, mascot, and food photography.

Our new logo
Ramen Hero logo

For millions of people ramen isn’t just a food, it’s an essential part of their daily lives, a sustenance that not only feeds their bellies but their souls. Similarly, when we redesigned the Ramen Hero logo we wanted it to represent a lifestyle, not just a brand.  

Our new mascot, Yama
Ramen Hero, Yama mascot

It’s customary for Japanese brands to have mascots, so for Ramen Hero we wanted a mascot that was fun and modern to appeal to ramen aficionados. Created by Argentinian illustrator, Juan Molinet, Yama is Mt. Fuji come to life and ready to party, which we think is the perfect representation of a brand that’s all about both authenticity and creativity. (Fun fact, “yama” actually means “mountain” in Japanese. Even more fun fact, Ramen Hero founder Hiro Hasagawa is from the prefecture where Mt. Fuji is located. It was all meant to be.)

Our new food photography

Ramen Hero Caramelized Miso Crying Samuri
Many thanks to the amazing Bay Area photographer, Maren Caruso, for all the new shots you’ll see on our site and social channels. When approaching this project she said she really wanted to capture the fun of slurping down Ramen Hero - and sometimes that means getting a little messy. We think she more than succeeded.

It’s all aimed at making every facet of the Ramen Hero experience as tasty as our noodles, and we hope it furthers our mission to bring Honkaku ramen to every dinner table in the US. After all, you can’t spell “American” without “ramen.” Just try.