Living as a Japanese Soy Sauce Maker: Work in Progress Japan #4, Keisuke Nomura
In this fourth instalment of Work in Progress Japan, we dive into the manufacturing of a staple of Japanese cuisine. We had the privilege of interviewing Keisuke Nomura, a former trader turned soy sauce craftsman, artisan and entrepreneur. He led us through his day running the Mitsuboshi soy sauce factory, illustrating his personal journey to finding his place in society via his traditional craft. Keisuke demonstrated how young Japanese countryside entrepreneurs are bringing their analog presence into the modern digital age.
Keisuke explained that a great benefit of his lifestyle has little to do with money, but rather with what he calls "emotional mileage": the deep emotional experiences that connect him to his community and environment. His unique experience doing a job only he can do is what gives his life purpose and brings him profound happiness.
The broader concept behind Work in Progress Japan is to take you deep into the lives of a few Japanese innovators who are busy reimagining Japan's cultural and societal landscape. It can be pretty hard for those not part of Japanese society to form an accurate impression of what it's like to live and work in Japan. Overseas media are usually not much help, publishing only stories that feed into a preconceived narrative regarding Japanese culture. That's why our mixed team of Japanese and foreign staff look at the kind of lifestyle that is quintessential to the Japanese way of life, yet often overlooked or forgotten.
Feel free to leave a comment on our YouTube page or reach out to us on social media with any feedback or ideas of workstyles you'd be curious to see in our series!
Once again thanks for watching. Due to the current pandemic state of emergency in Tokyo, it may once again be a couple of months until our next full episode. However, we're preparing other fun content in the meantime, so stay tuned!
Make sure to check out our previous episodes as well!
Dan is an editor and photographer for Kintopia's Japanese twin website Cybozu-shiki. He is the most recent member to join the corporate branding department at Cybozu.
Naozumi is a Japanese cameraman who, together with his associate Ryo Kawano, does freelance creative video direction. In addition, Naozumi is a member of JapanMade, a video production project seeking to introduce the work of Japanese artisans to the world. He also loves soccer.
Alex is the editor in chief of Kintopia and part of the corporate branding department at Cybozu. He holds an LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham and previously worked for the Swiss government.