People

Mikiko Kimura × Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.48

Mikiko Kimura × Chisako Takashima

2015.10.08

An interview series featuring Ginza people in conversation with violinist Chisako Takashima. With a special fondness for Ginza, which holds many memories both from her professional and private lives, Takashima explores Ginza from various dimensions with her guests. In this volume, she welcomes Ms. Mikiko Kimura, CEO of Kimuraya, a long-established bakery founded in the early years of the Meiji era.

A daily routine of tasting anpan

Takashima
Now that you are CEO, are you in the position to give advice to your employees?
Kimura
Yes, I am mainly in charge of corporate planning. Every day, I start the day by tasting the anpan. I check to see if it isn’t sweeter than usual, or if it isn’t softer. If I find something different, adjustments are made.
Takashima
You must have a gifted tongue.
Kimura
I am not sure about that, but I received taste education from father at a very young age. My father believed that children should savor authentic food when they are young. I am currently also responsible for the development of new products. Whenever our bakers devise something new, I taste it and offer advice. We work together to create new products.
Takashima
Kimuraya offers so many different types of bread.
Kimura
Yes, we do. We are most famous for our anpan, but we were actually the first to sell jam-filled buns and animal-shaped bread, such as uguisu (bush warbler) buns and turtle buns.
Takashima
Really! I suppose some of your products were originally ideas of your father?
Kimura
The Mushi-cake (steamed cake) is a long-seller inspired from Chinese Ma Lai Gao that my father developed. Its moist and yet fluffy texture is the secret of its popularity.

Hopes of upholding the Ginza brand to pass on to future generations

Takashima
When did you take over the company?
Kimura
I have been in charge ever since my father became ill. I assumed the position of CEO three years ago. We are here today thanks to our ancestors, so it is my strong desire to repay them by letting our business continue for generations to come.
Takashima
Did you visit Ginza often as a child?
Kimura
Yes. When I was little, there was an electric parade in autumn that I would look forward to every year. I also enjoyed going to the toyshop diagonally across the street.
Takashima
I would like to end by asking you to tell me about your feelings for Ginza today and Ginza in the future.
Kimura
Currently, I am a member of the Planning Division of Ginmikai. I am mainly involved in the summer event, “Yukata de Gin-bura” and the autumn event, “Ginchakai”. I have fostered strong ties with many executives in Ginza close to my age after joining Ginmikai.
Takashima
I have heard that the activities under Ginmikai can be more demanding than your business duties. How has it been for you?
Kimura
Some people may feel that way. However, if we can make a town even a little better than yesterday, then our businesses will eventually enjoy the benefits. We share the mission of improve Ginza as a whole.
Takashima
That will surely make Ginza even better than it already is.
Kmiura
I hope to honor and uphold the Ginza brand for future generations to inherit.

Chisako Takashima

Violinist. Takashima started taking violin lessons from the age of 6. After a successful career abroad, she moved her home base to Japan, where she currently performs in concerts across the country. Highly noted for her character in TV and radio appearances, she has currently opened up her career to more diverse fields with an unchanged focus on her profession.

Chisako Takashima official website

Mikiko Kimura

CEO of Ginza Kimuraya, established in 1869 (Meiji 2). Kimura is supervisor of product quality, developer of new products as well as advisor. Her younger brother is the seventh-generation CEO of Kimuraya Sohonten. She is a member of the Planning Division of Ginmikai and is involved in planning and running events, including “Yukata de Gin-bura” and “Ginchakai”. He favorite pastime is playing golf.

Ginza Kimuraya website

Written by Mizuho Takahashi; Place of interview: Ginza Kimuraya Restaurant (4F)

Strings on Fire New album by Chisako Takashima available in stores!

Finally released! Chisaka Takashima’s long-awaited new album, Strings on Fire.
A compilation of 12 tunes: 3 originals, including “Some Day, Just the Two of Us,” a duet with the cello, played by her second son (age 6), and other classical standards.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of violinist Chisako Takashima, opening new frontiers with the second album released under her new record label.

Visit Chisako Takashima’s official website for more information.

All List

みずほ銀行 銀座通支店/マロニエゲート銀座三井住友銀行 銀座支店/
ギンザのサヱグサ/銀座千疋屋/三笠会館本店/
(株)天賞堂/GINZA西銀座駐車場/
銀座 らん月/Hatsuko

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