Furikake: A Flavorful Journey through History with Mishima Foods

At Mishima Foods, we have always been dedicated to enhancing the flavor of daily meals with our diverse range of furikake products. As a company founded in 1949, we have played a crucial role in the furikake renaissance that started in the 1970s and continue to promote the cultural significance of this versatile seasoning. In this blog, we will take you through the captivating history of furikake, its resurgence in popularity, and how Mishima Foods has contributed to its success both domestically and internationally.

furikake mishima

The Origins of Furikake

Furikake's journey began in the early Taisho era when pharmacist Suekichi Yoshimaru from Kumamoto sought to address the lack of calcium in the Japanese diet. He created a solution by drying small fish and turning them into a calcium-rich powder, which would later become the basis for furikake. To make the powder more appealing, he added ingredients like roasted sesame, poppy seeds, and seaweed to mask the fishy smell.

Initially, furikake didn't have a specific name and was referred to by various monikers, such as "friends of rice," "friends of the dining table," or "friends of travel." It wasn't until the establishment of the National Furikake Association in 1959 that the term "furikake" was officially adopted as the name for this delicious seasoning.

Mishima Foods and the Furikake Renaissance

In the 1970s, furikake experienced a resurgence in popularity, becoming a go-to seasoning for busy Japanese families looking to add a touch of excitement to their daily meals. Our company, Mishima Foods, played a crucial role in this furikake renaissance by offering an affordable and flavorful option for households across Japan. Our success led to the expansion of furikake into international markets, solidifying its place as an integral part of Japanese cuisine.

In addition to our domestic success, we began to feature popular children's characters on our furikake products, demonstrating the diversification of the seasoning and its ever-growing importance in Japanese food culture.

Promoting Furikake's Cultural Significance at Mishima Foods

As the popularity of furikake continued to grow, we at Mishima Foods recognized the need to promote the seasoning's cultural significance. We have worked closely with industry associations like the Japan Furikake Association to educate the public about the history and role of furikake in Japanese food culture.

Our efforts to promote furikake have included hosting events, launching promotional campaigns, and sharing furikake recipes. We have also collaborated with other businesses and organizations to spread awareness and appreciation for furikake on a global scale.

Furikake Now

Furikake has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a dietary supplement, and Mishima Foods is proud to have contributed to its growth and success. Today, our versatile seasoning has become a beloved part of Japanese cuisine and an essential component of many dishes. Furikake can be found not only on rice but also as a topping for udon, soba, spaghetti, and even as a unique ingredient in salad dressings.

As furikake continues to evolve and we at Mishima Foods develop new products that cater to different tastes and applications, we remain committed to preserving the flavorful legacy of furikake and ensuring its place in Japanese food culture for generations to come.


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