Meet Japanese Companies with Quality
Over 140 years of quality soy goods TAKAMO&Corp.
Category: Japanese Food
A long history based on nature’s goodness
With the Minase River to the east and the Omono River to the west, Yuzawa, a town in Akita Prefecture, is home to some of the most fertile land in northern Japan. As such, the area produces a large amount of high-quality rice. The supply of rice and abundance of clean water made the perfect location for the Yamamo Miso and Soy Sauce Brewing Company. Founded in 1867 by Mosuke Takahashi and incorporated as TAKAMO & Corp., the company has produced quality soy sauce and miso products under the Yamamo brand at the same factory, in the same location for over 140 years.
Quality goods and techniques, passed on for generations
Yamamo’s production techniques remain largely unchanged. Its products’ signature light and slightly sweet flavor has been carefully preserved through the generations. Because the area produces so much quality rice, Yamamo miso is made with twice as much rice malt than is typically used. The malt mix is carefully fermented at just the right temperature and is regularly tended by hand to ensure that the sweetness and aroma from the rice are imparted to the miso. Their soy sauce is also carefully produced and perfectly fermented in wooden vats that have been in place since the factory was first built.
Main raw ingredients are locally sourced and produced. Even the bottles used for the soy sauce are collected, washed and repurposed from sake bottles. All aspects of production, from ingredient preparation to final packaging, are completed at the factory.
Continuity and adaptation
In its 140 years, Yamamo has become a well-regarded brand in Japan with the company managing to survive turbulent eras in modern Japanese history. Now helmed by Managing Director Yasushi Takahashi, the seventh generation in his family to hold the post, the company is adapting yet again, seeking to enter new international markets. Before returning to continue the family business, Takahashi traveled around the world, and his experiences abroad inspired him to redesign the brand. Central to this redesign is the theme of the voyage through life.
“While the Yamamo brand has adapted over the years and will continue to do so as times change, our commitment to supporting our customers has been constant,” Takahashi says. “We have a line of lifestyle products that take our brand beyond the kitchen to be a part of our customers’ lives and be a constant support on their voyages.”
Yamamo has opened a select shop at the factory and an online store where they sell not just their condiments but locally made, high-quality, Yamamo-branded goods like bags, shirts, aprons and other lifestyle goods that appeal to senses other than taste and smell.
Takahashi also personally redesigned the company’s label and packaging for its international products to be cleaner, modern and more stylish while remaining true to the brand’s legacy and history. Like the flavor of Yamamo’s products, the design is subtle yet robust, and it earned a Good Design Award in 2013.
TAKAMO & Corp. has a strong online presence with a website in both Japanese and English, an online store and a special site dedicated to the company’s global voyages. All are design masterpieces that reinforce the brand’s image. Yet, like Takahashi himself, the company’s online presence is approachable and humble while exuding a sense of confidence and style.
Outside Japan, Yamamo is growing in popularity in Taiwan. With dates set to meet possible buyers and distributors in both Europe and other Asian markets, Takahashi hopes to further expand the brand’s global reach and, in doing so, make Yamamo soy sauce and miso part of customers’ lives and voyages around the world.