Against the Odds: A Japanese Soy Sauce Brand Determined to Rebuild

Against the Odds: A Japanese Soy Sauce Brand Determined to Rebuild

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Stephanie Barlow
Apr 29, 2011

NPR reports this week that Yagisawa Co., a 204-year-old soy sauce company, is making efforts to rebuild their brand after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The ninth-generation CEO, Michihiro Kono, like many others in Japan, is taking progress one day at a time.

Despite the extreme conditions and obstacles in Rikuzentakata, Japan, Michihiro Kono has pulled together a small staff and samples of his family's soy sauce from ruins of their factory. They meet in a trailer behind the city's driving school and formulate a plan to rebuild the business.

Kono feels that without jobs, his employees will lose hope. Shortly after the tsunami, he visited the homes of some of his employees and asked them to report back to work. Met with disbelief, he still rallied as many as he could. Two of their staff of 41 didn't survive the earthquake and following tsunami. He know it will be a long road ahead, but his determination seems limitless.

Read more: Rebuilding A Soy Sauce Company, From The Barrel Up by Yuki Noguchi at NPR

Related: The Japan Earthquake: How to Help

("Help Japan" Poster designed by James White; restocked and available for $29.99 with all profits donated to Japanese disaster relief after following the 8.9 earthquake on March 11.)

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