I used to see posts with people appreciating Teuchi, the owner of Ichiraku Ramen and I would think it’s people being overly dramatic over such a side character in Naruto. Only now with the new theme ending in season 20 am I comprehending how completely amazing he was!
He was probably one of the first people who was actually compassionate towards Naruto. Naruto, whose childhood is heart breaking. An orphan who never knew his parents and was shunned by the village people because of the Nine Tails power inside him. The people of Konaha had lost many loved ones to the Nine Tails rampage and had associated the pain, fear and anger to Naruto, the child who merely carried the Nine Tails.
People would give him a wide berth on the streets, teach their kids not to talk or play or with him, chase him out of their shops and as if that wasn’t enough they would glare at him, sneer, call him a monster. The kid faced all this since he was born. Imagine it, a three year old, a four year old, running into a park to play with the other kids only to have their parents whisk them away. To see families walking around, mothers and fathers treating their kids, worrying about them, carrying them on their shoulders or swinging from their arms and all he could do was look on and wonder why he didn’t have parents. Naruto grew up confused and lonely, yearning for people to see him, acknowledge him, to be his friends.
When you watch the closing clip and see young three year old Naruto peeking into Ichiraku from behind the wall and jumping up in fear when Teuchi spots him, it breaks your heart. To see such fear in his eyes because he’s so used to being shunned haunts you. No child should be made to feel like that. An outsider to the world with no claims to love and compassion from people.
Teuchi invited Naruto inside and gave him a bowl of hot ramen. It became the first place Naruto could go to and feel welcome. A place where people smiled at him, greeted him when he came in. Teuchi would often treat Naruto to free meals on special occasions, share his sorrows and success, ask him about his day.
People like this are the unsung heroes in this world. Their kindness is truly something to aspire to. He gave Naruto the love every kid deserves when no one else could care less. I cannot begin to explain how much I admire him. You can see how surprised Naruto is that the ramen is actually for him and then the smile that lights up his face is priceless. Children should always be smiling like that.
We need to be people like Teuchi from Ichiraku Ramen. Who see and help the people who need it most despite the prejudice around us. They’re the true warriors, the heroes that don’t get enough appreciation for what they do. It doesn’t take much. A kind word, a listening ear and some sincerity. Sincerity and love are all that people want, and orphans deserve it the most. You have no idea how it is to live without parents. To think you’re all alone in the world. Love isn’t confined for family, it’s for every one.
Understand people’s situation and don’t just feel bad for them. Share their pain. Do something, however small. It makes a huge difference.