My grandfather Tokutaro Niihara founded Niihara Miso Syoyu Company over a hundred years ago in Kumanojyo,Sendai.Presently,Sendai is called Satsumasendai City.There is no old company photograph or record bearing my grandparents beside one portrait that I possess. One day, I felt like I wanted to know about my ancestor's period.I made a visit to an uncle of mine aged 91 years, and asked him about the history of my company.My uncle recalled the memories of my grandfather.
It was 1905 during the Japanese-Russian War that my grandfather founded the Miso Soy sause factory.Before the war, my grandfather's business was tobacco retailing.However, the Japanese-Russian War broke out, and Japanese national government took over the tobacco retailing right. The government was in for making money for the war bond. My grandfather sold his tobacco retaking right and secured founds to build the Miso Soy sause factory. The first factory had four fermented storehouse. The soy sauce allowed to nature for a year in a storehouse whereas, the Miso for a period of up to two months. There was also a KOJI room on the second floor. (KOJI is an essential ingredient of most fermented product in Japan). There were also many men and women all employees residing on the second floor of the factory. Water is a crucial raw material. The daily work of workers at the factory was mainly to draw water form the Sendai River. Worth mentioning, my grandfather also went to Korea to buy soy beans. Several years later, he built a rice vinegar in Nish Kaimoncho. (This was our first modern factory after World War Second). My grandmother also mentioned to my uncle that in 1914 while she was carring him inside her and working in the rice vinegar storehouse there was a big volcanic cruption on Sakurajima Moutain. There also many earth quakes a few days later. This is perhaps one of the worst disaster in history of Kagoshima. The above is my family's business story, which may uncle told me about my grandfather. I am a third generation descendant of the family business. I have managed the family business for about thirty years now. One of the biggest decisions I have had to make was to move the family business to Ichihino town from Sendai city, which was my father and grandfather's long time home and working place. Of course, I have never met my grandfather, but sometimes I remember my father a second generation descendant now passed on who said to me, "When I make judgment or decision at work, we are walking the same way as a blood connection." Now, my responsibility is to protect an inheritance of a hundred years from my grandfather. What is my grandfather's heritage? I have only one answer to this question, "High quality products." It is always keeping quality and customer satisfaction high foever. I will exceedingly be happy if my company can make a significant contribution to community throughout the food culture.