Michio Kushi Memorial Service Speeches – Toyofumi Yoshida
This post is part of a series presenting full transcripts of speeches given at the Michio Kushi Memorial Service in Boston on January 31, 2015.
I am Toyofumi Yoshida of Mitoku Co., Ltd. In Tokyo, Japan. I was very shocked and saddened to learn of Kushi-sensei’s passing. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to his family. As you all – as you all know, Kushi-sensei left behind so many great accomplishments through his lifetime work of macrobiotic. All of us gathered here today prove that. I am sure each one of us has special memories with Kushi-sensei. I would like share a little piece of 47 years of history between Kushi-sensei and Mitoku Co., Ltd. Mr. Kazama who was founder of Mitoku, who was also my father-in-law, passed away three years ago.
Kushi-sensei and Kazama were introduced through a mutual friend. Kushi-sensei needed macrobiotic quality food in the US. I was told that Kushi-sensei was very set in his mind and he needed macrobiotic quality food and that was that. Kazama was not so sure but he decided believe Kushi-sensei and started to look for products that Kushi-sensei requested.
Back then in Japan, big new machine and mass production line are in. Everything was about making how many more you can make as faster than you can. Olden traditional making were almost gone. Japanese yen was 360 yen against one dollar – US one dollar. US dollar was worth three times more than today’s rate. Yen was not traded freely. Export and import were very difficult. Against all that my father—in—law had travelled and researched all over Japan for long fermented miso made in the traditional wooden keg. Tamari and Shoyu made from whole soybeans not from defatted soybeans which was major in at that time. Wakame, Kombu and other seaweeds – they were not well known in US. Everything Kazama tried to put into shipping containers. Japanese government wanted to check.
Now Japanese food were widely known all over the world. Tofu, sushi, tempura and the other Japanese food become trendy. Who’d have thought non-Japanese will eat seaweed; having miso and shoyu in the regular household kitchen. Kushi-sensei did and believed almost 50 years ago. We have received so many ideas from Kushi-sensei for making good products for offer. Good products to make people happy and healthy.
I, on behalf of Mitoku, Co. Ltd., and I think I can speak for Mr. Yuko Okada of Muso Co., Ltd., also and other companies like us, along with all the producers that are committed to make old and traditional products will continue to our work to help Kushi-sensei’s mission and his work he left behind. Thank you. Arigato Gozaimashita.