Rare Donation to Kikkoman Institute

This March 14, a “Kelder bottle” was donated to the Kikkoman Institute for International Food Culture in Noda by Soichiro Asano, chairman of Asano Spring Excavation Pipe Co., Ltd. Kelder bottles reputedly date from around the beginning of the eighteenth century, and during the Edo period (1603-1867), they were used by the Dutch in Nagasaki to transport alcoholic beverages and distilled water from the Netherlands into Japan. The used bottles were then filled with soy sauce or Japanese sake for export to Southeast Asia and Europe.

While reading the book 80 Years of History of the Kikkoman Corporation, an employee of Asano Spring Excavation Pipe Co. realized that he had a Kelder bottle in his possession and decided to donate it in his company’s name. The Institute had been in search of a Kelder bottle and was surprised and delighted with the gift. An exhibition is currently being planned. For further information about early soy sauce export, please see