Soy sauce originated in China over 2,500 years ago and was introduced to Japan in the 13th century by Buddhist monks. In 1645, company founder Gihei Hamaguhci began brewing soy sauce in Choshi, Japan, under the Yamasa name. Following centuries of traditional brewing practices, soy sauce production was extensively mechanized after World War I; and today the versatile condiment is receiving an ever-increasing world-wide popularity.
Yamasa Corporation began exports of soy sauce to the U.S. over 130 years ago. Demand for the product has steadily grown and in June 1992 Yamasa incorporated the USA division in Salem, Oregon, marking a memorable page in Yamasa's history and establishing a U.S. production and distribution facility. The 65,000 square-foot plant -- situated on a 25 acre site -- is capable of supplying over 1.7 million gallons of soy sauce per year.
Oregon's moderate climate, humidity and quality water are instrumental in the brewing of soy sauce, environmentally assisting the required fermentation process that produces a mellow distinctive taste. The product is made during a six-month fermentation process that utilizes the finest soybeans, wheat, and sea salt.
In this state-of-the-art plant in Salem, Oregon, raw material handling is automated but the brewing process remains the same as it was 350 years ago.