Yoshimura Shuzo (吉村酒造)

Yoshimura Shuzo Co., Ltd. is a company engaged in production and sale of seishu (refined sake), with its principal office at Kami-itabashi cho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City.

It has headquarters for holding a license to brew liquors, at 166-1, Takasue, Shin-onsen-cho, Mikata-gun, Hyogo Prefecture, where its shuzo (sake warehouse) is located.

Company's Profile
Headquarters: at 166-1, Takasue, Shin-onsen-cho, Mikata-gun, Hyogo Prefecture
Principal Office: at 500-1, Kami-itabashi-cho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto Prefecture.
Trade Name: Matsubaya
Representative: Masahiro YOSHIMURA

Business Creeds (principles of Matsubaya): 'Shincho-kani (When you want to accomplish something, prepare for it carefully before launching it, but challenge it unflinchingly once you have launched);' 'Ri wa Tsutomuru ni oite Shin nari (Profits should be made by contributing to society):' and 'Mizukara Tsutomete Yamazu (Keep training yourself and never give up)'

The Yoshimura Family
The Yoshimura family as the Kuramoto (sake brewer) is a branch family of Kanbe YOSHIMURA's family who had once deserted Fushimi Castle during the Edo period and served until Meiji period as shoya (a village headman) of Horiuchi-mura (Horiuchi village), one of Fushimi-mawari Hachi-ka-son (eight villages around Fushimi), which is currently named as Momoyama-goryo.

This Yoshimura family calls itself 'Matsubaya-Yoshimura family' to distinguish it from the head family, the Kanbe family of the Yoshimura family and also from another branch family called the 'Myogaya-Yoshimura family.'

It has no capital ties nor blood relationship with Yoshimura Hideo Shoten, a sake brewery in Wakayama Prefecture, Yoshimura Shuzo (Fukukasumi.) another sake brewery in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Zuiyo sake brewery (Yoshimura family) in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Genealogy

The first head of the family, Genbe, was a vegetable vendor; the second head, Gennosuke, was engaged in water-wheel rice milling; and the third head, Genzaburo,started off as a government contractor for the 16th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, after which he became a carrier and then made his way into the sake brewing industry.

Genzaburo YOSHIMURA was appointed a member of the Kii-gun Assembly, the Fushimi Town Assembly, and the Fushimi City Assembly (as a member of the Kenseikai and Rikken Minsei-to political parties) on successive occasions.

The fourth head, Gentaro YOSHIMURA, had a career as the representative of the Shuzogyo Fukkatsu Kisei-domei (an association formed to carry out reactivation of the sake brewing industry,) which is a nationwide organization to submit requests for permission to restore the license to brew seishu by the sake breweries across the country who had been compelled to close or suspend their business by Senji Kigyo Seibi Rei (the acts for industrial readjustment in wartime) and he made a direct plea to the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces (GHQ) in 1947. On the following day of the plea to GHQ, the General Section of GHQ transmitted its authorization for conditional restoration of the license to brew seishu.

The fifth head of the family, Genishiro YOSHIMURA, successfully realized brewing of seishu free of salicylic acid as a forerunner in the sake brewing business. He has developed a rapid cooling device regarded to be effective to decrease ethyl carbamate contained in seishu. He has also played a central role as chairman of the basic ingredient committee of the Fushimi Sake Maker's Association to revive the brand of 'Iwai' as the suitable rice produced in Kyoto for brewering sake.

The third to fifth heads of the family are well known for having consistently used "home-polished rice for all products."

Brand Names of Products
Taihaku (ancient Chinese name of planet Venus)
Fuzuru (literally, a crane in the wind)
Yumechiyo-nikki (literally, Yumechiyo's diary)
Shiki-no-homare (literally, honor of four seasons)
Yoki (literally, honor with brilliance)
Kono-Issen-ni-ari (Heihachiro TOGO's words, meaning "It depends on this battle")
Nihonkai-Kaisen (Battle of Japan Sea, or Battle of Tsushima)
Hibi-kore-kojitsu (enjoy everyday life)
Hyakuman-doru (one million dollars)

Brewery and sale of the brand 'Hyakuman-doru (one million dollars)' have been transferred to their business tie-up partner, Kinshi-Masamune Co., Ltd., in Kyoto since 2006.

History

From the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the Edo period
1607: Kanbe YOSHIMURA (the 1st.), a retainer of Sadakatsu MATSUDAIRA, migrated to Fushimi from Kakegawa of Totoumi Province (currently Kakegawa City.)

1623: He founded 'Horiuchi village' on the empty lots of the old deserted Fushimi Castle.
He served as shoya (a village headman) under the control of Fushimi bugyo (a magistrate of Fushimi area.)

1850: He separated his family from so-honke (the primary head family) and established a branch family to launch sales of kyo-yasai (typical Kyoto vegetables) under the trade name of 'Matsubaya' at Horiuchi village of Edo-cho.

During the Meiji period
1896: After the demise of Emperor Meiji, he dedicated/sold out his domain to the Imperial Household Ministry. He moved his home place of business to Tsuchibashi, Fushimi Ward.

From 1896: He developed his business mainly as a purveyor to the headquarters of Dai Juroku Shidan (the 16th division) of the Imperial Japanese Army, including rice milling with water wheels, transportation and others.

During the Taisho period
1917: He launched the sake brewing business.
He rented shuzo (sake warehouses) at Okago-cho, Fushimi Ward, to start brewing seishu (refined sake) under the brand names of 'Yoki (literally, honor with brilliance)' and 'Shiki-no-homare (literally, honor of four seasons).'

1920: He constructed his company's own shuzo (sake warehouses) at Kami-itabashi-cho, Fushimi Ward. He withdrew from the business of rice milling with water wheels.

During and after World War II
1935: The third head of the family, Gensaburo YOSHIMURA died. The fourth head, Gentaro YOSHIMURA, assumed the post of the company's representative.

1944: The company suspended its operation due to the act for industrial adjustment in wartime issued by the government under its national policy in wartime during World War II.

1945: The company's shuzo (sake warehouses) were converted to warehouses for food of the Imperial Japanese Army.

1947: The company restored its operation after making a direct plea to the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces.
Its representative brand was renamed 'Hyakuman-doru (literally, one million dollars).'

1950: Under the special agreement with Nakaizumi Co., Ltd. (currently, Ryoshoku Liquor Limited,) it was decided to market 'Hyakuman-doru' mainly in Gunma Prefecture.

During Late Showa Era
1956: The company was reorganized to Yoshimura Shuzo Co., Ltd. 1967: It began production of highest class, first class sake free from preservatives (salicylic acid).

1968: It started brewing second class sake also free from salicylic acid.
(As a vanguard of the industry, it has implemented making a complete range of products free from salicylic acid.)

1969: Salicylic acid added to seishu (refined sake) became an issue. The company's technology used to avoid salicylic acid has attracted much attention.

1971: Its second plant in Fushimi (a brewery named Jibu-gura) was constructed.

1972: Sales of 'Hyakuman-doru' topped ten thousands koku.

1985: It started sales of seishu (refined sake) under the brand name 'Taihaku (ancient Chinese name for the planet Venus).'

1984: The company initiated research on ethyl carbamate and how to reduce it in seishu (refined sake) in cooperation with a research body of a university. Ethyl carbamate was successfully extracted from seishu.

1986: An experimental facility for a rapid quenching system as a method to reduce ethyl carbamate in the process of seishu production was completed. The company started demonstrating the system at the production site.

1989: The fourth head of the family, Gentaro YOSHIMURA, ascended to chairman of the company. The fifth head, Genichiro YOSHIMURA, took the position of president of the company.

During the Heisei period after 1989
1997: The fourth head of the family, Gentaro YOSHIMURA, died.

2000: The company constructed new shuzo (sake warehouses) called Tajima-gura at Hamasaka-cho, Hyogo Prefecture, and moved its home place of business thereto. A new brand, 'Fuzuru (literally, a crane in the wind),' made a debut.

2001: The fifth head of the family, Genichiro YOSHIMURA, died. The sixth head, Masahiro YOSHIMURA, became the president of the company.

He announced the company's three-year plan for management rationalization, called 'Action Plan 21.'
He promoted OEM (original equipment manufacturing) business.

2002: He managed the merger of Milliontrust Co., Ltd. 2004: The company constructed Shin Tajima-gura (new Tajima sake warehouses) in the adjacent area of the Tajima-gura, and shifted all of the current facilities to the newly constructed area.

He announced the company's three-year plan, called 'convert-21,' for management transformation. He promoted conversion of the company management to the management without sake warehouses.

2006: The company signed an agreement of business collaboration with Kinshi-masamune (in Kyoto City) for production and sale of seishu under the brand name of 'Hyakuman-doru (one million dollars).'
The company announced the commencement of a rental business for its brand 'Hyakuman-doru.'

2007: Its medium-term management plan, called 'Revolution-21,' was announced. Badge engineering system was introduced.

* The empty site of the old Fushimi second plant is planned to be used as a part of Kyoto City's 'framework for the development of complex facilities to support various industries.'

Assistance to Affected Areas
The company dispatched convoys of tank trucks to carry ground water to the area affected by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, as well accepting bottling of sake on trust of affected sake brewers in the Nada area.

Record of Awards

1992: The company was awarded a 'gold prize' by Osaka Kokuzeikyoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1993: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Osaka Kokuzeikyoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1993: The company was awarded a 'gold prize' by Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the National Research Institute of Brewing.)
1994: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Osaka Kokuzeikyoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1994: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the National Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1995: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Osaka Kokuzeikyoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1995: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the National Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1996: The company was awarded a 'gold prize' by the Monde Selection.
1997: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Osaka Kokuzeikyoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1997: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the National Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1997: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by the Monde Selection.
1998: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai (the National Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing.)
1998: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by the Monde Selection. 1998: The company was awarded an 'International High Quality Trophy' of the Monde Selection. 1999: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by the Monde Selection. 2000: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by the Monde Selection. 2001: The company was awarded again a 'gold prize' by the Monde Selection. 2001: The company was awarded again an 'International High Quality Trophy' of the Monde Selection.

* In 1996, activity of the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing was suspended due to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and was resumed in 1997 but as the last event to be discontinued from the next year, so that the company is regarded as have in fact been awarded the 'gold prize' of the Institute for the sixth time in a row.

* The company, Yoshimura Shuzo, declared that 'it will not exhibit any of its products' at any fair from 2002.

CM (commercial messages)

In 1970s, advertisements of 'Hyakuman-doru, seishu of Fushimi' had been aired on local TV programs in Gunma Prefecture, using images of maiko (apprentice geisha.)
It is still a well known story among the local people that, when a model of maiko arrived at Takasaki for sales campaign of sake, so many people gathered to watch her that nearby roads were massively clogged up.

Others

From 1970s up to 1980s, horizontally long rectangular neon-light advertisements were installed in front of Maebashi station of Japan National Railways in Gunma Prefecture and on the roof of a building in Takasaki City, the latter of which could be seen from a train window of Joetsu Shinkansen until 1990s.

Affiliated Companies

Hifit Co., Ltd.; engaged in temporary personnel services, job search services, and business process outsourcing services

Cyber Assist; engaged in IT outsourcing services

Offbeat; engaged in distribution of application service providers and also in management of a culture center.

High-five of Japan, Inc.; engaged in software development and manufacture of application service providers.

Associated Organizations

Kyoto Saigai (disaster) Volunteer Net