@59 days until Hiroshima Summit: Furikake

by Kyoko Morioka, Staff Writer

Tanaka Foods Co., Ltd., located in Hiroshima’s Nishi Ward, created furikake (rice seasoning), Ryoko no Tomo (travel friends) as a navy warrant product in the early Taisho era (1912-1926). Back then, the company was a private store selling pickles and other items in Kure, and it received a request from the former Navy and developed the product as a preserved food to be loaded onto warships. Furikake, made from fish meal, also served as a nutritional supplement, and is said to have been eaten by the crew of the battleship Yamato, which was built at the Kure Naval Arsenal.

The company began selling furikake to the general public in 1916. The factory, which had moved to Higashikanon-machi (now part of Nishi Ward) in 1928, was destroyed in the atomic bombing in 1945. Then-president Tomo Tanaka also died in the bombing. After that, the company resumed production of Ryoko no Tomo. Now, Tanaka Foods’s furikake has expanded to about 250 varieties.

(Originally published on March 21, 2023)