As a Japanese, consciousness of “How am I a pro?” makes a difference
The ninth generation master of the long-established Sohon...
Could the use of fruit as gifts be a custom unique to Japan? Japan is a “fruit country” – a rare concept in this world.
A wide variety of fruits ripen each season, and there are many varieties throughout the year. In Japan, a major feature is the fastidious nurturing of fruit, which is grown not just for its taste, but for its shape and appearance as well.
Sembikiya-Sohonten, which deals in carefully selected fruit, was founded in 1834 (Tenpō5). The store started as an “inexpensive fruit seller” in Fukiyacho (now Nihonbashi Ningyocho).
The owner was Benzo Ohshima of Musashi Province. Up to that point, he had run a dojo for spears, but with the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, he wanted to start a trade that fit the new era. Displayed in his store were fruits and vegetables harvested in his home region of Musashi Province. He transported freshly picked produce to Edo by boat.
Once Japan entered the Meiji period, dried fruit, canned goods, and Western alcohol were purchased from overseas and shaved ice was offered during the summer. A fruit parlor was opened in the same period and, at the start of the Showa period, the shop with its stained-glass windows became a place that everyone adored.
Even now that we’ve entered the Reiwa era, the basic stance of Sembikiya-Sohonten remains unchanged. How do we deliver perishable products to the customers in the optimal condition? In order to preserve our traditions, how should we adopt current trends?
In recent years, we’ve begun conducting online sales in addition to selling in person.
We are also combining our efforts with those of producers, to allow our customers to experience an abundance of flavors, including sour and full-bodied tastes in addition to sweet ones.
Just as the blessings of nature create an abundance of fruit, we want to create an abundance in peoples’ lives through the blessings of fruit.
This feeling is the cornerstone of fostering trust and providing people who visit with a “greater abundance.”