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Jan 2007 | Vol. 1 MUSO NEWS
A Happy New Year to All Muso Customers
Mr. & Mrs. Okada

The beginning of 2007 has seen strange weather around the world. As of this winter, the world has recognized what is happening today. There is a proverb which says “History repeats itself.” We can not imagine what will happen in the future. However, we must continue to live our life. Anyway, let us have a fruitful and prosperous year of 2007 together. We wish happiness and health to all customers world wide. (by President; Yuko Okada)

The number of staff in the overseas department has been increased lately. We start year of 2007 with the renewal "Muso News". We like to serve you better than ever with offering meaningful sales/quality control service and useful information. May this year be a successful one for you. (by Managing Director; Ryoko Okada)

Investing in Organic Miso fund, investing for future generations!
A new wooden barrel made with money from miso fund.

100 years old cedar planks.

Yuko and Seigo writing a message
on a plank.

Miso making

img Miso fund
These days the investment has been diversifying its features. You can choose the theme-oriented mutual funds such as emphasizing on ecology, environment, energy and water conservation, etc. It is ideal that you can invest in the field you really care about and make some bucks, isn't it!

One of our organic miso manufactures, Marukawa Miso (located in Fukui prefecture) gave us an unique and safe investment opportunity last year. Marukawa miso had issued a privately-offered corporate bound last year. The deal is 60,000 yen per lot and a 3 year-long capital safe investment with interest at 5% of annual interest (after tax deduction). The unique feature is that the interest is paid by organic miso not money. The story does not end here. It has a more romantic feature to it.

img 100 years
“With money we get, we buy wooden barrels made of Japanese cedar and bamboo and commit ourselves to produce organic miso for the next one hundred years,” Mr. Kawasaki (president of Marukawa Miso) explains. “These wooden barrels are said to last for one hundred to one hundred twenty years. This represents the mind of patience.”

img Organic Miso and beyond
“Miso making is the traditional, cultural, and historical heritage that our ancestors left us generation after generation,” he says. “And I hope this opportunity will make a lot of people interested in organic miso and eventually contribute to the growth of organic farming in Japan.”

img For Future
People participated in this miso investment had another interesting opportunity, that is one could write a message on a plank of cedar (many of these planks will make one big wooden barrel) with sumi ink. Many of Muso employees participated in this miso investment wrote the messages for future generations and printed our buyers’ name in hope that their prosperous organic business will flourish in the future. “I wanted to cast our passion toward Japan’s bright future a hundred year from now into shape,” Mr. Kawasaki added. “The message written on the piece of cedar will be only read by someone when the wooden barrel can no longer be used, one hundred years from now.”

img Availability
The First shipment of organic miso fermented in this newly built 100-year cedar barrel will be available around November of 2007. Why don’t you enjoy this special organic miso for yourself, too!

Japanese Organic Miso Almanac

img What is the annual production volume of organic miso in Japan?
The annual production volume of miso in Japan is about 500,000 tons. Of that, organic miso accounts for only 3200t, 0.6% of the total miso production volume (data on 2003 figure). The annual production volume of organic miso at Marukawa Miso is about 120t; therefore, it accounts for about 5% of annual production of organic miso in Japan.

img What is the production volume of organic soybeans in Japan?
The annual production of soybeans in Japan is about 200,000 tons. Of them, 853 tons are organic; it accounts for only 0.4% of total annual soybean production in Japan.

Furthermore, producing 1 kg of conventional miso requires 3 square meter of soybean and wheat and normally 192g of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides (according to the research done by Marukawa Miso)

img Marukawa miso annually produces 120t of organic miso.
This means that they saved a 364,000 square meter field (equal to 8 football stadiums) from soil contamination with 21 tons of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. In other words, they contribute to saving our environment and moreover plant soil.

Top 10 of year 2006
img These are Top 10 sold in the year of 2006 MUSO have shipped to overseas. Any products made with all these items are also high movers in general, and it is worthwhile to look other items made with. Please compare with your top 10 sold Japanese items. You may find some interesting products that you are not carrying in your regular Japanese items. img3
by Sales Director
Seigo Okada

img No.1 Bonsoy
Strong as expected this year also. Not only strong in number but also in nutrients. Abundant in Isoflavone and essential amino acids. Try Bonsoy Latte!
img No.2 Tamari
Tamari has been a staple item these days. Both conventional and organic versions are available. Aged and fermented in a cedar keg.
img No.3 Organic Shoyu
Organic Shoyu Listening to the sound of a Japanese harp during the aging and fermentation period. Shoyu is a living thing!
img No.4 Nori
Thanks to popularity of sushi, Nori is the most recognized sea vegetable of all. The krinkle version is now available.
img No.5 Arame
Not only consumed as a food but also used as a bath agent. You can enjoy an Arame bath. Active substances in arame are good at treating skin disease, nerve pain, and rheumatism.
img No.6 Kombu
The name of kombu was originated from the Ainu (indigenous people in the northern part of Japan) language. This traveled to China and came back to Japan again. What goes around comes around!
img No.7 Organic Kudzu
Its root can reach up to 3m in length and 40cm in diameter. However, practically speaking, only 10 kg of edible kudzu will be picked out of 100kg kudzu root.
img No.8 Chlorella
Chlorella is said to have come into existence about 2 billion years ago as a starting point of life on earth. No wonder, they are so good for you.
img No.9 Instant Miso Soup (without bonito)
New versions of white / red miso soup are available. An organic version is also available. It is selling so good.
img No.10 Mirin
The brand name of our Mirin is "Mother of Taste" named after the notion for passing along the taste of mother's cooking to children. Organic mirin is also available.

Takashi KusumotoI joined Muso late last year. I will be in charge of issuing Muso news from now on. Before joining Muso, I went to study Macrobiotic in Kushi Institute in the U.S. and worked in Macrobiotic restaurant for a while. My dream is to travel all over the world with my kids. Also it is my dream, (I mean "real" dream) to own 1968 Dino Ferrari and must be yellow. Cooking and grocery shopping on the weekend is my passion. I love hanging out in the supermarket!

Name Haruhiko Nakayama
9 Star K i Ki 4 Tree
Specialty in cooking Tofu cream pasta
Favorite Muso Products Organic Shoyu
Self Description Idealist, no wonder I am 4 tree!
Hobby Indoor rock climbing
Role Model Malcolm X
Favorite music or musician Bob Marley, John Coltrane, Drum and Bass