After Makoto Yusaku assumed the helm of his family’s natto business, he spent a decade phasing out cheaper imported soybeans and building a market instead among buyers and consumers alike for domestic soy grown organically or with reduced use of agrochemicals. With prices as much as three times more it wasn’t easy, but he felt driven to support Japan’s smallscale farms and the families who run them.
Yusaku spent seven years perfecting methods of tempeh production. A fresh version keeps the white mold on. “Nutritionally it has the same benefits as tempeh that’s been heat-treated,” he says. “But the flavor profile is completely different. Consumers should have a range of choice.” He has innovated the way natto spores are grown, too, boosting their vitality by lowering oxygen levels in the latter half of fermentation.
1-10-1 Nishihara-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo
（The Cuisine Magazine /May 2019）