Beyond Borders: Kikkoman Educational Initiatives
Since 2005, as part of Kikkoman's food education activities, the company has presented special lectures on soy sauce (shoyu) at Japanese elementary schools. These lectures, titled Shoyu Juku ("soy sauce studies") cover topics relating to soy sauce, its ingredients, production and use in everyday foods. As of December 2010, Kikkoman had received requests to hold Shoyu Juku at 110 schools in Japan, representing over 8,600 students.
Inspired by the popularity of these classes, Kikkoman has recently begun to present Shoyu Juku in Taiwan. Soy sauce is a familiar seasoning in Taiwan; however, its unique food culture is quite different to that of Japan.
President Kikkoman Inc. (PKI) in Taiwan initiated Shoyu Juku to help educate children about the appeal of Japanese soy sauce and how it enhances the flavor of foods. Starting with a class at Kaohsiung Japanese School in 2009, PKI has since presented Shoyu Juku to over 150 students at three Japanese schools and one local school.
The Shoyu Juku classes in Taiwan target both local and expatriate Japanese students. Local students are introduced to healthy eating habits while learning more about soy sauce; for expatriates, the class serves as an opportunity to experience Japanese food culture.
PKI creates these lessons with a sensitivity to the local language and food culture, and its lecturers are rewarded with enthusiastic young students who are delighted to have discovered the world of soy sauce. Building on its success in Taiwan, Kikkoman hopes to continue to expand these educational activities around the world.