Kikkoman Food Culture Exchange in China
Inspired by the positive response to its Japanese Restaurant " MURASAKI" at the Japan Industry Pavilion during Expo 2010 Shanghai China, Kikkoman continues to pursue various public relations activities within China.
This May, Kikkoman President and CEO Noriaki Horikiri spoke at a Kikkoman special lecture held at Shanghai University. Mr. Horikiri had spoken there previously in the first of the company's special lecture series in April 2011. During this most recent event, attended by over 200 students, Mr. Horikiri discussed the theme "Corporate International Business Development and Cultural Exchange." Referring to the overseas business Kikkoman has been developing for more than 50 years, together with its exchange programs with Shanghai University, Mr. Horikiri emphasized the importance of determination and perseverance. He also sent a message to the students that young people should actively experience new cultures and values, and highlighted the advantages of utilizing such experiences toward personal growth within today's rapidly changing global society. Following the lecture, a relaxed and informative social gathering was held with 30 students from the university's Japanese Department.
Kikkoman also held a special lecture at the Guangzhou Vocational School of Tourism & Business in Guangzhou. Mr. Hitoshi Kakizawa, food consultant and former general manager of Japanese Restaurant " MURASAKI," spoke on the appeal of washoku, Japanese cuisine. Mr. Kakizawa shed light on the two key ingredients of dashi stock, including how katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) is made, and where kombu is produced. He also discussed the characteristics and uses of Japanese soy sauce as one of the fundamental seasonings of washoku. These topics may have been unfamiliar to many of the students unacquainted with Japanese food; however, Mr. Kakizawa framed his discussion by relating them to the basic attitudes of a chef, stating that "it is necessary to have an interest in food ingredients and understand their characteristics and how they are made, and master how to use them in your own way. The range of your cooking will be expanded this way." The talk was followed by a cooking class, where Mr. Kakizawa provided students with the hands-on opportunity to experience and taste dashi stock, as described during the morning lecture. They prepared dashi stock in three stages: first, using only kombu; then by adding katsuobushi; and lastly, by adding a drop of soy sauce. At each stage, he asked the enthusiastic future chefs to describe its color and flavor in their own words. Using their own dashi stock, the group prepared niku jaga simmered beef and potatoes, and enjoyed tasting their creations.
As China's economy continues to expand, Kikkoman anticipates growing demand for high value-added products in its seasoning markets. Thus Kikkoman will strive to introduce the taste and flavor of naturally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce, produced using the company's unique brewing technology. At the same time, the company aims to provide more opportunities for the Chinese to experience new flavors along with the enjoyment of food. Through activities like these, the Kikkoman Group will continue to promote the international exchange of food culture, as stipulated in its management philosophy.