People

Yuji Ida×Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.60

Yuji Ida×Chisako Takashima

2016.11.04

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 Mr. Yuji Ida, CEO of Ginza Kikunoya, a Japanese confectionary store established in the Meiji period.

Making each item with great care for the customer that will take it into his hands.

Takashima
What are some important house rules in making confectionary?
Ida
It goes without saying that we use high-quality ingredients, but with the advancement of automation, we emphasize careful work. Even if we use the same recipe every day, we will end up with a different taste according to weather conditions, so we are most careful in making subtle adjustments. We may make 100 or 200 at a time, but for the customer who takes our products into their hands, it is the one. With that in mind, I am determined to continue to make confectionary with great care.
Takashima
Do you have any policies that have been kept unchanged from the past or others that have been adapted to changing times?
Ida
It has been 126 years since our establishment, and you may be surprised to know that we have no policies that binds us to old traditions just because we are a long-established store. We are more free-spirited and younger generations are encouraged to create new confectionary to match the times.
Takashima
That sounds like a wonderful environment.
Ida
Yes. That is how the second CEO created the Fukiyose. Our third CEO was very artistic and drew the pictures on the cans. Then my father, the fourth-generation CEO, who was born after WW2 and grew up in an era when American culture massively flowed into Japan. Inspired by his frequent travels abroad, he devised the “Agemanju (fried rice cake)” sprinkled with macadamia nuts.
Takashima
Using macadamia nuts at a Japanese confectioner is a truly novel idea.
Ida
It is our wish to have our customers taste it at its best, so we only sell the Agemanju at our store. Please try one while it is still warm.
Takashima
(taking a bite) Mmm. This is really delicious! The nuts are so crunchy and tasty! I love both fried rice cakes and macadamia nuts. This would also make a wonderful gift.
Ida
Thank you. I am happy to have you say that.
Takashima
With your predecessors all having taken on new challenges, you must be under much pressure as the fifth-generation CEO.
Ida
Yes. I have only been CEO for two years, and I have yet to decide what to do. With the Tokyo Olympics around the corner, I hope to refine the Japanese confectionary that we make now to represent Japan today and let more foreigners appreciate Japan.

Remaining a special place decades later in Ginza, home to the best-established stores

Takashima
Please tell me about your passion for Ginza.
Ida
Having just taken over the store, I have only started to attend gatherings of storeowners in Ginza during this past year. I hope to learn more about Ginza through interaction with senior members. Ginza is home to the best-established stores and I am determined to endeavor every day so that Ginza Kikunoya will always be listed among Ginza-based businesses. I would be more than pleased if we could still have a special place in Ginza a decade or two decades later.
Takashima
With new plans in view of the Tokyo Olympics.
Ida
Yes. Inspired by the Olympic Games, we have made available the “Takara-zukushi Gorin Jiku (宝づくし五輪時空),” which is a set of five small cans of Fukiyose. It is a special product that comes in a custom-ordered treasure box and wrapped in a furoshiki.
Takashima
That is wonderful!

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

Yuji Ida

Born in Tokyo in 1975. After being graduated from university, Ida joined Ginza Kikunoya. Following eight years working for the company, he worked as a system engineer for five years. In 2011, he became executive director and in 2014, he assumed the current position of CEO. Harnessing his experiences as engineer, he has promoted the introduction of information technologies. The online shop that he launched has been a successful addition.

Written by Hiroko Yoda; Place of interview: Ginza Kikunoya, Ginza main store

MUSE〜12 Precious Harmony〜
MUSE〜12 Precious Harmony〜

Released! A new album by Chisako Takashima 12 Violinists: MUSE -12 Precious Harmony-

Chisako Takashima 12 Violinists have released their first album in four years: MUSE -12 Precious Harmony-.
This diverse album celebrates the 12 Violinists’ tenth year with many classical numbers.
With three original pieces, including “SPLASH!!!,” a novel number written and co-performed by Sukimaswitch, the album comprises twelve numbers.

Click here for details, including information on individual numbers.

All List

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

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