Jan 2010 | Vol.10 MUSO NEWS
Fueled by a Pyramid Power
The history of our hatcho miso maker, Maruya Hatcho Miso dates back to 1337, when its founder, Yaejiemon Ohta, first started his own miso making business in the area of Japan known as “Okazaki” today. By the middle of the 16th century, his miso became known as “hatcho miso,” whose name derived from its proximity (“ha” meaning 8, and “cho” meaning one city block) to the Okazaki Castle. The Okazaki Castle is the birth place of Ieyasu Tokugawa who was the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. During the Warring States period (aka the ‘Sengoku Period’), “hatcho miso was a prized ration of food for his samurai warriors.  

Maruya Hatcho adheres to the ancient craft of traditional style of making miso that was developed through the course of the last several hundreds of years. For instance, the fermentation kegs are still made with Japanese cedar and placed directly on the surface of earth. Although it sounds almost mythical, it is said that hatcho miso gets good vibration of energy directly from earth during the fermentation period of passing at least two summers and two winters. There are also a few more traditional practices such as their method of digging aged miso out of the keg physically by hands. Part of an apprentice’s daily routine is to dig miso out of the keg. This ‘miso digging’ process to empty the keg takes about a week to complete. Although the digging is a truly back-breaking work, it is said doing this the good old-fashioned way enhances good harmony of the energy that’s been accumulated over the long fermenting period.  
On the other hand, a wave of modernization is present in today’s manufacturing of hatcho miso. Production efficiency and quality have been upgraded by recent implemention of plant automation and computerization (along with the quality control documentations complied with ISO 9001 standards). Maruya Hatcho successfully positions themselves between modernism and tradition –which shows traditional miso making can coexist with modern approaches to manufacturing excellence.  

Perhaps the most puzzling and mythical feature of hatcho miso making is the involvement of the stone pyramid. A pyramid’s design, with the majority of the weight closer to the bottom (of the ground) and less material higher pushing down, allowed early civilizations to create stable monument structures. Believe it or not, this ancient technique for the distribution of weight is utilized in hatcho miso production, as piling up stone pyramid on the top of the keg, to enhance a balanced distribution of salted water and steamed soybean in the keg. In addition, it’s believed, the ‘supernatural’ pyramid power may be involved in the hatcho miso making.

And now, news about the latest miso development: Our organic hatcho miso is now available as “gluten-free.” It took a series of experimentations that lasted several years. Maruya Hatcho finally succeeded in making hatcho miso without the traditional roasted barley flour that has been used for generations. This breakthrough required steering somewhat away from tradition in order to cope with the change of the time and demand. Certainly, one thing is for sure; hatcho miso keeps evolving after more than 670 years after its birth.

A New Line of Organic Products

Some products we have are all brand-new and some just have gone through either package renewals and/or name changes. Today, we have a whole new line of organic products to introduce. If you are interested in them, please contact our sales representatives.
Muso wishes you a Happy and Healthy 2010!

Genmai Life

"Organic brown rice cracker series" formerly-known as "Therapy" just went through the package renewal and re-branding. We gave it a new name "Genmai Life" and they come with 3 different kinds of crackers. Each variety is as good for you as it tastes.

Lightly Salted, Black Sesame, Tamari Flavor


Organic 100% Buckwheat Soba


We are launching this product officially with a new package design. Enjoy this wheat-free & delicious organic noodle!


Organic Green Pea Chips & Organic Mungbean Chips

Muso’s Gluten-free organic chips product line has a new product to include: “Organic Green Pea Chips.” Another sister product is “Organic Mungbean Chips”. These chips are also available with a new attractive package. Each of these chips are so great, one bite will simply not be enough!

Green Pea Chips

Mungbean Chips