President's Message

Your smile is the reason we make our products

To me, a natural smile is a perfect indication to show that someone is happy. It is something that comes out of your emotion naturally and uncontrollably.

There are so many things that make you smile but I truly believe that good food is one of them. Have you had a moment when you had really good food and found yourself smiling without realizing it? Or when someone loved the food that you cooked and you felt your heart was so fulfilled? When you had a delicious meal with someone, did you share the joy and feel closer to that person?  These moments always come with natural smiles and I hope that our products are part of these precious scenes. We are making our products with a strong belief that they can make you smile. 

'If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.'  ― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard

My family has been making Tamari soy sauce for over 200 years. I am the eighth generation member of the founding family. I am proud of our Tamari soy sauce not because of its long history. I am proud of the fact that we are still making it today because it has been enjoyed by so many people for all these years and I strongly believe that it will continue to be a part of people’s life to be enjoyed for the next hundreds of years.

However, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t change our Tamari in any way. Everyone knows that our lifestyle has changed drastically of course in the last 200 years or even for the last few years. For example, salt is one of the essential ingredients for Tamari soy sauce as it is a preserved seasoning and salt also adds a good flavor. But when high sodium intake became a concern, we made a reduced sodium version of our Tamari. 

Also, lifestyle can be very different depending on where you are, such as Japan and the United States. When we started selling our products in the United States, we suggested recipes that can incorporate our Tamari into the American dinner table more easily. It didn’t matter to us if it wasn’t used in the same way as in Japan. “A splash of Tamari will make your soup, casserole, gravy, or spaghetti sauce taste so much better.” “Steak and Tamari go really well together.” It was exciting to introduce more flavor options to help make everyone’s ordinary meals a little extraordinary.

We were not afraid to make changes so our Tamari was loved by anyone, any time period and any location. 

Some things never change

On the other hand, we didn’t change certain things. The basic brewing methods have always been the same. We use pure, simple ingredients and rely on great power of fermentation to create the rich, complex flavor that San-J is known for, without shortcuts. There were no genetically modified ingredients or artificial preservatives 200 years ago like what exists today. And we still don’t use these new ingredients in our products. We stick with the ingredients that nature designed for us. We believe that's the way it should be to contribute to people's heathier lifestyle, which leads to happiness and more natural smiles. 

'If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.'  But what I know for sure that will never change is our passion to make our products to make you smile. 


Takashi Sato