Greetings from The President

Yamagen Jouzou Co., Ltd. CEO Mamoru Yamamoto

Former President Mamoru Yamamoto

The start of this company was 245 years ago, in the first year of the Anei era (1772), when my ancestor Chobei Muroya began running a rice mold business in Yokota-machi, in the Ecchu Takaoka region of the Kaga domain. The name Muroya refers to a family that runs this kind of business. Ever since then, we have developed our company, focusing on the manufacture and sales of fermented food products such as miso and soy sauce.

In recent years, the diet of Japanese people has changed a great deal. People’s lifestyles are in general becoming more western, and their eating habits are becoming both more diverse and more simplistic. Consumption of the traditional fermented food products that are an important part of traditional Japanese cuisine is on the decline. On the other hand, overseas in areas like America and Europe, these markets are experiencing rapid growth.

Like in the old saying “a bowl of miso soup a day keeps the doctor away”, fermented foodstuffs like miso are an important part of a healthy diet, and the viewpoint that these traditional foods are a part of why the Japanese people have a longer life expectancy than anywhere else in the world is now well established in foreign countries.

These fermented products that have come to be highly valued abroad are produced using a special mold that grows on rice, called koji. There are three important factors that must be considered when cultivating this mold.

1) Climate and Natural Features (water, seasons, humidity, etc.)
2) Tradition & History (fermentation cellars, warehouse conditions)
3) Technique (skill of workers, taking care of the product)

Water is the major deciding factor in the finished products.

Because a lot of snow falls here in Toyama, we have an abundant supply of high quality underground water. The topography going from the mountainous regions to Toyama Bay features a drastic drop in elevation, and as a result the water flow does not slow and become clouded with sediment but flows fast and stays pristine. There is also a clear division between each of the four seasons, and humidity remains high throughout the year. In this way, Toyama’s climate and natural features support our company’s rice mold production.

In addition, we have retained the traditional techniques and finely detailed approach established by the previous proprietors, and as a result of the blessings of the beautiful surroundings and the conservative values of this area, where the people still observe the yearly courtesies, maintain lifestyles with a traditional etiquette, and have an esteem for traditional Japanese cuisine, our company has continued in business for many years.

As a contribution to the popular slow foods movement sweeping the globe, Japanese cuisine offers one of its cornerstones: rice mold.

With a self-awareness that are company’s roots are in rice mold manufacturing, our mission is to strive always to create ever more delicious, safer, and higher quality products. In addition, we will not rest on our laurels as an old business with a long and distinguished history, but continue to devote ourselves to our ideals and their transmission to the next generation.

In conclusion, it is my hope that fermented food products, which even now contain a kind of magic that cannot be completely explained by modern science, will continue to be loved all over the world for many years to come. We hope for nothing more than to continue to receive your patronage, guidance, and encouragement in the future.