Brand power and all cultural power behind it! (Rediscovery of four super popular Japanese brands)

Discover Japan is a magazine that deeply explores the charm of Japanese culture. Each issue has a topic selected, focusing on the new living conditions of Japanese traditions in the present. Tea ceremony, Japanese design, famous tourist spots… Take a new look to discover the charm of Japan again.

In the April 2017 issue, the theme is “The Secrets of Japanese Brands”. What is the cultural origin behind a commercial brand? What does a good brand look like? Which brands are selected? In this issue, follow the Institute of Cultural Power, one by one.



“The history of wagashi is the history of Toraya.”

Confectionery is a general term for traditional Japanese confectionery and confectionery, mainly processed using sugar, rice, glutinous rice, wheat flour and other ingredients as raw materials. Both “fruit” and “fruit” refer to fruits picked from trees. Later, the name of the fruit was left from the last dessert in “Japanese cuisine”, “fruit seeds”, and it spread from then on. “Wagashi” is distinguished from foreign confections newly introduced from Europe in the late Meiji period.

Toraya was established in Kyoto in the late Muromachi period to provide the imperial family with sweets. At present, Tiger House retains the oldest one in the 8th year of Genroku (1695), which contains as many as 74 kinds of detailed fruit preparation methods, illustrations, and categories. To this day, it still maintains a simple design, which makes people admire while eye-catching. Even in Japan, where there are almost 100-year-old companies, the 500-year history of TORAYA Toraya is still a staggering number.

“Hinai Ryu”, a packaging box for young sweets made in 1776 (the 5th year of Ernst & Young). The logo of Tiger House-Golden Tiger is painted on the box.

The white warm curtain is the symbol of the tiger house. In addition to the text of “とらや” (虎屋), there are three words on the warm curtain as seals, namely “A Thousand Miles of Wind” (from the legend that the tiger travels thousands of miles per day and the tiger roars in the wind) and “Mikami Tune into “Sho” (the shop that makes dim sum) and “Kurokawa” (the name of the owner of the tiger house in the past).

In 1980, Toraya opened a branch in Paris with the willingness to “introduce Japan through wagashi”. At the corner of Saint-Florentin Avenue, the curtain of the Tiger House was hung.

In 1984, in order to adapt to the tastes of the locals, a special “Yokang de Barry” was developed. There are six flavors including black currant, coffee, and mint. (This is only sold until 2004, a total of 20 years.)

In 1997, the branch was remodeled, the exterior wall was replaced with a large area of ​​stone masonry, and the entrance and display windows were designed into a symmetrical bow-shaped glass structure.

The design work was undertaken by the architect of DGT, a well-known architectural design firm in Paris.

The table material is made of French oak, and the color refers to the red bean color, which is the main raw material of wagashi; the tabletop is made of shiny resin material to simulate another representative of wagashi, Hanten. Named YOKAN TABLE.

The interior of the shop combines French materials with a Japanese-style sense of space, with ivory-colored stucco and light-colored wood grain as the base tone. There are no sharp edges and corners in the furniture, and they are all treated in a rounded manner.

Limited edition only available in Paris

Paris is a picky city. Even the Japanese who have worked hard for hundreds of years in the dessert field may not be able to gain a foothold here. The so-called “Tiger House” is no exception to the so-called “Tiger House”. It has launched a series of “Paris Exclusive” limited editions to meet Parisian gluttons.

Adzuki bean and apricot roasted fruit

This fruit combines the slightly sourness of apricots and the sweetness of red beans, as well as the refreshing aroma of lemon, but it is only sold in spring and summer.

Hazy moon night

The name of this section is quite poetic, called LuneVague, to the effect that it is a hazy moon night, which makes people think of the poem “a few moments of rain and wind, the hazy light moon and clouds come and go”.

Yutu Fruit

This one is very cute, and it needs to be pre-ordered before you can buy it. It is made into the shape of a white rabbit, which means good luck.

In addition, Toriya also introduced a series of new flavors limited to Paris. For example, fig yokan, apple yokan, berry yokan, caramel pear flavor yokan…

The earliest yokan is a soup made with lamb and chilled to form a jelly. It was then spread to Japan with Zen Buddhism. Since monks did not eat meat, they mixed red beans with flour or arrowroot powder and steamed them. Therefore, yokan slowly evolved into a jelly-like food made from beans in Japan. Later, with the development of the tea ceremony, yokan gradually became a famous refreshment.

The delicacy of Toraya Yokan is well-known all over Japan. The raw materials of yokan are mainly Hokkaido adzuki beans, high-precision white disaccharides and dried cold weather, and then processed by the underground river water of Mt.Fuji collected at the Gotemba factory.

The most representative Ogura Yokan in Toraya is called “Night no Plum”.

Yunjing no Sakura

It shows the cherry blossoms in the courtyard of the palace. “Sakura in Yunjing” In the spring sunshine, the courtyard of the palace looks like cherry blossoms.


Inspired by the sunset in the mountains.

Thousand Miles of Wind

This yokan takes the tiger walking in the wind as the theme to show its vigorous and flexible attitude. The superb skills of the pastry chef make the yellow and black tiger skin markings on the yokan come alive.

Toraya once invited masters from Japan and France to create a variety of “future yokan”, which was exhibited and sold at the yokan exhibition in Tokyo, allowing everyone to learn about the ever-changing and amazing wagashi.

The transparent Yokan “MONOGATARI” designed by Yoshiju Watanabe has lilies, rabbits, birds, women, squirrels and other patterns inside.

Reiko Sudo’s “SHIMAMOYO” uses brown-white yokan to create a straightforward layer.


スノーピーク Snow Peak

Outdoor brand from Niigata and Tsubame Sanjo

Snow Peak is a Japanese outdoor sports equipment brand. In 1958, Mr. Yukio Yamai established Snow Peak. Snow Peak has devoted itself to the development of camping furniture and cooking utensils for more than 50 years. Its design and excellent quality have been praised by outdoor people. In the 1990s, Snow Peak began to enter the stove and lighting market. Due to its small design volume, after its launch, it shocked the entire outdoor appliance industry, and at the same time activated the revolution of outdoor stoves in light weight and miniaturization.


The texture of this stake is harder enough to penetrate the concrete, changing the image that the ground nail is a consumable.

The smallest ground pegs are 8 inches long and can be used to secure small tents next to rivers and creeks in rocky areas.

Burning Platform

This portable fire station from Snow peak is a unique, sturdy, compact portable fireplace equipped with various cooking and barbecue accessories. The stainless steel fireplace comes in 3 sizes and is folded flat for easy transportation and cleaning.

Price: 8,600, 12,600, 15,600 yen

Amenity Dome

The Snow Peak bedroom tent series controls the indoor height to the lowest height, and has a streamlined appearance design that allows wind energy to flow smoothly through the top of the tent. A tent with a higher indoor height is indeed more convenient for standing up to perform various tasks or changing clothes, but it is more susceptible to strong winds and damage to the camp pillars. Although Snow Peak’s dome tent is designed to lower the height, it improves the durability of the tent.

Snow Peak physical store, C2C style reception and sales method, employees treat customers as friends.

Snow Peak also proposed: Even urban life can be spent naturally and happily! Guide consumers to create an outdoor atmosphere-eliminate the concept of “outside” at home. For example, the development of design products for courtyards and the introduction of brand-new lifestyles in daily life.

Snow Peak X Kengo Kuma


Architecture for travel, freedom of “living”

Architect Kengo Kuma designed the mobile home “JYUBAKO-“. Surrounded by nature, it is convenient for people to enjoy a free lifestyle. With the theme of “Jyubako”, it is like a Japanese-style bento box, which looks like a minimalist wooden box, but after opening the windows, terraces, and stairs, it becomes a mobile home for outdoor life. The “living box” fits Kengo Kuma’s concept of integrating architecture into nature. It is equipped with LED lights and bed frames, and can also be used to create home accessories according to user needs. The basic price starts from 3.5 million yen.


Japanese Hotel Yusanjia

Famous brand in the hotel industry

“Royal Sanjia” generally refers to Japan’s top three in a certain field. The three imperial Japanese hotel brands are: Tokyo Imperial Hotel, Okura Hotel and New Otani Hotel.

Empire Hotel

“The Guest House of Japan”

This is from 1890, in order to welcome overseas guests as “Japanese Guest House”. The Imperial Hotel opened in Hibiya, Tokyo, is located in the center of Tokyo, close to Marunouchi and Ginza, and is surrounded by Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace Garden. It is a comfortable and relaxing hotel with lush greenery.

The distinguished guests of the past generations include Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Helen Keller and other famous figures. With their high-quality service and comfort, they are still the regulars of overseas royal families, senior government officials and other state guests and world celebrities. Accommodation in the hotel. The standard guest room has uniform white, beige and brown furniture.

The hotel has undergone two large-scale reconstructions. There are currently two buildings in sight. The lower main building was opened in 1970. The design tends to be practical. In response to the needs of the Osaka World Expo, the number of rooms increased, with 570 rooms. The Imperial Tower at the rear was put into service in 1983. It was first rebuilt in 1923 when it opened, and it was designed by the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. At that time, it was in the budding period of Art Deco, and he boldly incorporated this style into the hotel design.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo in the early 1890s was in the Meiji Restoration period. Japanese architecture began to imitate the West. The hotels that attracted foreign tourists were no exception. The appearance was similar to Tokyo Station.

Hotel Okura Tokyo

“Pioneer of Civil Diplomacy”

The Okura Hotel was built in 1962. It is a hotel built with the concept of “architecture and interior decorating the essence of Japanese art and building an international hotel unique to Japan.” As soon as it opened, it took on the important task of receiving guests from the world in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It was also the choice of US President Barack Obama and other celebrities to stay when they visited Japan. The Okura Hotel, built by architects, folk artists, potters and many other artists, perfectly combines traditional Japanese cultural elements and atmosphere with the needs of modern hotels. From the architectural materials, soft furnishings, the use of colors, and even the waiters’ Japanese dress and conversation etiquette, they retain the elegant sense of time in Tokyo in the 1960s.

In August 2015, the Okura Hotel’s main building began to undergo renovation and is expected to be completed in 2019. Spanning more than half a century, this hotel again is reborn as a service for the new Olympic Games.

New Otani Hotel

“Guardian of Japanese Culture”

When the Tokyo Olympic Games were held in 1964, the “New Otani Hotel” was built in the vast hinterland of approximately 67,000 square meters in order to provide accommodation for tourists visiting Japan. The design concept is to provide world-class accommodation, large conference venues and halls for more than 1,000 guests while maintaining the beautiful scenery and the stone walls of a daimyo mansion in the Edo period, using the art-style architectural techniques of the time. From the pattern of the carpet to the walls of the Furong Hall, to the group of cranes on the entrance hall, the traditional Japanese style of the hotel’s decoration illustrates a desire and pursuit of eternal beauty.

In order to let every VIP be able to see the beautiful scenery of Mount Fuji, full-open floor-to-ceiling windows are set up. In addition, the symbol of the New Otani Hotel is the 45-meter-diameter revolving saloon on the top floor, which is said to be the best in the East. You can enjoy a 360-degree revolving view while enjoying a variety of dishes.


Tendo Carpentry

“The history of Tendo woodworking is the history of Japanese design”

Tendo Mokko Co., Ltd. is a family-owned enterprise that mainly sells wooden furniture and is a leading furniture manufacturer. Headquartered in Tendo City, Yamagata Prefecture. As a Japanese manufacturer, Tendo Carpentry has many excellent furniture designers and created many products that have been sold for more than half a century, including Toyota (Lexus) and Honda’s wood panels and wooden steering wheels.

Tendo Carpentry leads the Japanese wooden furniture leader with its sophisticated and excellent pressure-molded plywood technology. Through its passion for wood and the care and respect for the natural environment, it even recycles wood for use in the manufacturing process. Tiantong is not only exquisite in craftsmanship, but also considerate and ergonomic in design, and is also humbly in the humanist viewpoint and process. Under the fluent and concise design of the famous masters, the craftsmen have won fame through the exquisite and exquisite craftsmanship, and even the Japanese royal family has designated it for use, so it is known as the Japanese royal royal brand.

Sori Liu-Butterfly Chair (1954)

As the most classic masterpiece of Sori Yanagi, the birth of the butterfly chair can be said to be a bit unexpected. It is said that this is the shape that Sori Yanagi accidentally created when he played with plastic sheets, but with the technology of the time, it was necessary to create this curve like a butterfly wing. It is quite difficult. Therefore, after many years of failure, I have this beautiful sculptural and quite comfortable result to sit up.

“Tendo Woodworking Furniture Design Competition” at the end of the 1961 season

Excellent Designer X Tendo Carpentry

Member of Kenchiyong Industrial Technology Laboratory, one of the creators of dry forming plywood technology. In 1932, it became Japan’s first national design guidance agency to be admitted to the Craft Guidance Office, and has been committed to industrial design and furniture design.

Jianchiyong’s S-5007 chair

Sori Yanagi is an industrial designer of the older generation in Japan. From 1936 to 1940, he studied at Tokyo University of the Arts. Since 1942, Ren Le Corbusier has sent to Japan to participate in the improvement of product design work as an assistant to Charlotte Perrian. He incorporates the warmth of folk art hand-made into the cold industrial design, and is an early Japanese designer who has gained world recognition.

Bruno Mattson, Swedish designer

The Bruno Mattson Exhibition, Japan’s first solo exhibition held in Roppongi, Sweden in 1974, was an opportunity for him to meet Tendo. Bruno Mattson’s first partner was Tendo Carpenter.

Bruno Mattson High Chair

Tokichi Kato In 1947, Tokuyoshi Kato , the president of Tendo Carpentry, started to research forming plywood technology, and finally succeeded in developing the best plywood furniture in Japan, completely overturning the previous limitations of solid wood production.

Kato Tokuyoshi-リングスツール (1955)

Gan Saburo was born in Hsinchu, Taiwan in 1911. He was one of the earliest technical instructors and one of the earliest founders of Tiantong Woodworking. Since childhood, he followed his parents in the life of furniture production, and later began to contact and participate in the development of bending plywood technology.

Kansaburo-Floor Chair

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