Message from our Representative

Ichikawa Hokkai Shokuhin LLD Representative Director Kazuyoshi Ichikawa

More than 40 years have passed in the blink of an eye since I became involved in the sea urchin industry.

During that time, through trial and error; I tried various things, but withdrew all of them. With each attempt, the debt increased with Sea Urchins being the only constant, somehow making it this far. I am grateful that it is my calling and passion. In addition, from the beginning of the sea urchin, I was connected to Rishiri, and with many cooperators, I was able to continue “Rishiri-san” while laughing and setting on the best and worst of days.

Perhaps because of this, our “Rishiri sea urchin” brand of “Red Rishiri”, “White Rishiri”, and “Kurorijiri” has recently started spreading brand awareness autonomously, and we have heard that they have received good reviews without our knowledge.

I thought it was a low-key job that didn’t stand out all year, but I was surprised that so many people were happy with our sea urchins. It is around this time that I look back on my life again and am happy that I have walked the path of this sea urchin.

After all, knowing that you were happy makes you feel even more grateful. The blessing of the sea urchin, the connection between people, and the seed of happiness of gratitude were all achieved through the sea urchin industry. After coming here, I am finally beginning to realize that this sea urchin work is a “calling” given to me by the heavens. We are deeply aware that this is also our career for a sustained period because of the patronage of our customers. Until now, we have specialized in wholesale and sold only through distribution to each wholesale market nationwide, but from now on, it seems that it will be possible for a dedicated person in charge to manage our products that have not been distributed until now for gourmet customers, so we have decided to take on the challenge.

I think that there are some things that cannot be reached due to new challenges, but I would be very happy if we could have a long-term relationship from now on and in the future.

First and foremost, “Thank you.”

Our core pillars for running our company.

I tell my colleagues to work with the image of how happy our customers will be. I have been involved in the sea urchin business for more than 40 years, but as a business owner, I jumped in without learning anything, so I have been repeatedly amazed with the help of “last-minute luck” while encountering the danger of sinking many times. However, I have come to understand that the various events (successes, problems, failures) that I learned are direct projections of myself as an owner and operator. Everything that happens reflects your heart. As an example; even if you have something to worry about, as long as you remain calm, you will always have peace of mind。If your heart is always happy, joy will come to you naturally. For this reason, we have concluded that the most important thing is to have an image that customers and employees will be pleased with. I will do everything within my power to plant an image in my heart.

This is the same as copying Jam-Ojisan’s (a fictional character from Anpanman) “Make it delicious! Make it delicious!”, but I think that having all our part-time employees (we call them craftsmen) join the government’s retirement allowance system is also a way to plant an image of “happy” in my heart. I tell all employees that I want them to work while imagining how we can make customers happy.

What we value in handling sea urchins within our company

We believe that the most important priority when processing sea urchins is maintaining deliciousness. Firstly, priority is freshness. Secondly, freshness is the priority. Third, fourth and fifth are all also freshness. At our company, the appearance (withered sea urchin, commonly known as dryness) is important, but in order to pursue more taste, we try to reduce as much as possible alum (similar to the bitterness of tofu that has protein coagulation). In the sea urchin industry, appearance (dryness) and shelf life are emphasized, but at our company, we use “delicious because it’s sea urchin” as a slogan and try to release products that can be said to be “delicious” by tasting.

It a ritual of mine, who looks up to Jam-Ojisan as a teacher, to stir the secret processing liquid (ingredient used in the children’s comic Anpanman to make foods more delicious) in the early morning before work, praying, “It will be delicious! It will be delicious!”

Representative Director Kazuyoshi Ichikawa