The Mogi and Takanashi families merge to form the Noda Shoyu Co., Ltd
WELCOME TO THE USA
The brand entered the US market in San Francisco
The company changed their name to Kikkoman Shoyu Co., Ltd.
PRODUCTION IN US
Begins production in Wisconsin
3RD NAME CHANGE
The company changed their name to Kikkoman Corporation
EXPANSION IN US
Kikkoman established its second plant in the US in Folsom, CA
Seasoning Your Life
Kikkoman Corporation, the manufacturer of the most popular soy sauce in Japan and the US, has been around for 100 years, but that seems to pale in comparison, when you realize that soy sauce itself has been around since the 13th century in China. The liquid got its name, soy sauce, as early as 1520. Along with the popular soy sauce, Kikkoman manufacturers sake, pharmaceuticals, and restaurant management services, among other products.
Kikkoman’s history is the result of 8-family businesses that began in 1603. The word kikko means tortoise shell, while man means 10,000; this trademark/name was chosen because of its symbolization of longevity.
Kikkoman’s bottle top
The distinctive red top and Kikkoman soy bottle were designed in 1961 by industrial designer, Kenji Ekuan. His design inspiration and motto “design is a source of life enhancement” arose from witnessing the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, where he lost his father and sister. Ekuan’s design is not merely beautiful in its simplicity and elegance, but the way the container is shaped allows for pouring as little as a drop without spilling and dripping.
The Soy Sauce Warrior Kikkoman, created in early 2000s, was developed in a programming language called Shift JIS. The character is a parody of a super hero who uses the soy sauce in a comedic and musical way. His adventures have him fighting condiments and other foods.
Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, water, and salt, but can have other ingredients that might include roasted grains or straw mushrooms; taste can vary depending on what part of the world you’re in.
Other than the high sodium content (one serving = 38% of daily recommended salt intake), soy sauce has no fat, carbs, or cholesterol; four percent of your daily protein requirement can come from one serving of Kikkoman – so yes, it can be a healthy choice!
Did You Know?
- In Japanese folklore, a tortoise can live 10,000 years – Kikkoman’s logo, a rebus consisting of the character for 10,000, is surrounded by a hexagon, the representation of a tortoise shell.
- Kikkoman has developed a gluten-free soy sauce that can be enjoyed by anyone; it contains no wheat, flavor enhancers, or added coloring.
- There are approximately 400 million liters of Kikkoman soy sauce made worldwide every year.
Learn about umami, the “secret component” of Kikkoman’s – it is known as the 5th taste sensation after sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
Watch the English translation of Soy Sauce Warrior Kikkoman
Have a centennial suggestion? Let us know!