On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles conferred the Commendation of the Consul General on Mr. Yasuo Kumoda, Chairman of Super Frec U.S.A., Inc.
Mr. Kumoda’s biography and achievements are as follows:
Mr. Yasuo Kumoda was born in Karafuto in 1941. After graduating from the Law Faculty at Aoyama University, he began his career at Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. in 1966. He travelled to the United States and became the President of Morinaga Nutritional Foods, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Morinaga Milk specializing in tofu sales in 1985. Until his retirement in 2005, Mr. Kumoda worked profusely to mainstream tofu in America. He currently serves as a visiting professor at Chukyo University, assisting with the preparation of a more internationally equipped generation. In addition, he visits various cities around Japan hosted by the Jiji Press Japan, providing invaluable assistance to small and medium-sized business on expanding internationally. In 2006, Mr. Kumoda became the Chairman of Super Frec U.S.A., Inc., proposing new product ideas on how to make shirataki the next popular healthy food item after tofu. Beginning in 2008, he also became the Chair of the Board of the Japanese Food Culture Association, an organization dedicated to supporting Japanese restaurants and promoting the import and export of agricultural and fisheries products of Japan. In June of the same year, Mr. Kumoda was recognized for his contributions to the promotion of the Japanese food culture with an award from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Before the popularization of Japanese food, soybeans were considered only as livestock feed. Mr. Kumoda spent over 20 years popularizing tofu, before its wide acceptance as a health conscious food product, earning him the nickname “Mr. Tofu.” With the efforts of Mr. Kumoda, Japanese food was able to gain its way into the hearts of the American public and become as popular as it is today. As visiting professor of Chukyo University and Advisor to Dosankokai, Mr. Kumoda has put a considerable amount of effort into helping the younger generation of Japan better prepared to achieve success overseas. As the Chair of the Board for the Japanese Food Culture Association, he oversees several Japanese wholesale distributors and Japanese food manufacturers in addition to hosting Japanese food culture events with over 3000 attendees, contributing greatly to the creation of a “Japan Brand.”
3. Conferment Ceremony
The ceremony was attended by approximately 20 guests, including Mr. Kumoda’s wife and friends. Consul General Horinouchi’s remarks provided an overview of Mr. Kumoda’s struggles in mainstreaming tofu in America and his contributions to the popularization of Japanese food in Southern California, to which Consul General extended his sincerest appreciation. After the conferment of the certificate, Mr. Kumoda expressed his gratitude to all those who had supported him over the years and his intent to continue the further popularization of Japanese food under the belief that it would lead to world peace. The congratulatory remarks were given by Mr. Noritoshi Kanai, Chairman of Mutual Trading, Co. and Mr. Yoshinobu Fukushima, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Asahi Gakuen, both of whom expressed their gratitude to Mr. Kumoda and his contributions to the dissemination of Japanese food and his efforts in supporting the younger generation. The toast was given by Mr. Toshio Handa, President of the Japanese Community Pioneer Center, who congratulated Mr. Kumoda on his achievement, ending the approximately 40-minute ceremony. A reception followed, which was enjoyed by all the guests.