Mr. Takashi Saito
Representative Director,
Kumamoto Hotel Castle Advisor
The Japan Association of Chinese Cuisuine
Trained by the late Masterchef Kenmin Chen, known as ‘Father of Sichuan cuisine’ He was a favoured student of Chen’s, and entrusted him with the care of his son, Kenichi Chen, who later on, become well known for his role in the TV show ‘Iron Chef’. After gaining experience at the Tokyo Shisen Hanten and the Sapporo Park Hotel, at the age of 33, Saito became head chef of Chinese cuisine at the newly refurbished Kumamoto Hotel Castle ‘Toukagen’ restaurant.

His authentic Sichuan cuisine has since greatly contributed to the Chinese cuisine industry in Japan. He has also been decorated with many prestigious awards, including the President of the Liberal Democratic Party Award, the Japanese Food & Culture Award, the Health Minister Award, the Kenmin Chen Academy Award and the People’s Republic of China Award.

In 2006, he was the first Chinese cuisine chef from the west of Japan to receive the title of Contemporary Master Craftsman, a ministerial award for those of superior skill. In 2009, he received the Medal with Yellow Ribbon and in 2014, he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays.


“Rich food comes from a rich land.
Kumamoto is blessed with the epic nature of Mt. Aso and beautiful clear water, making it one of the best places in all of Japan to sample the abundance of the finest natural ingredients. In Kumamoto, the culture of soy sauce has developed ever the years, to maximize the flavors of each seasonal ingredient brought to us by nature. One of the most appealing aspects of soy sauce is its sheer versatility, this single condiment that can greatly expand the breadth of your cookery. It plays such a key role that in fact, it could be said that no cookery will be complete without soy sauce. In other countries, Japanese soy sauce has only been used for a very short period of time, no more than a few decades. However, rich and distinctive Japanese soy sauce has slowly but surely found its place overseas. Soy sauce is a vital component of the current Japanese cuisine craze that is sweeping the world.

The existence of the traditional Japanese condiment called soy sauce is one of the reasons why the world has accepted Japanese cuisine. I would like more people around the world to experience and understand the quality, richness and flavorful Japanese soy sauce.

Soy sauce has found its special place in today’s ever changing and continuously evolving food industry. I truly believe in the near future Japanese soy sauce will appear in every dining table across the world.”