People

Naoki Yoshizawa×Yusuke Yoshizawa×Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.63

Naoki Yoshizawa×Yusuke Yoshizawa×Chisako Takashima

2017.02.01

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. Naoki Yoshizawa, President of Yoshizawa Shoten Ltd., and his brother Yusuke Yoshizawa, Senior Managing Director. Yoshizawa Shoten Ltd. manages a meat shop and Yoshizawa, a sukiyaki & shabu-shabu restaurant.

Specializing in beef, from purchasing, processing and sales

Takashima
Beef happens to be my favorite food, but this is my first time at Yoshizawa. Please forgive me for my ignorance.
Naoki Yoshizawa (“Naoki”)
Please come dine with us some time. Other than Yoshizawa, our sukiyaki and shabu-shabu restaurant, we also run Yoshizawa Shoten, the retail meat shop on the first floor and Yoshizawa Chikusan, which is famous for high-quality beef wholesales. I am proud to say that we sell only authentic beef that meets our standards.
Yusuke Yoshizawa (“Yusuke”)
I am in charge of finances and management, so although I am in the meat business, I have no idea how to use a knife, unlike my brother.
Takashima
And you are brothers?
Naoki
We get along very well, but we are as different as night and day. When we were in school, my grades were always at the bottom of the class, but my brother always fared well. Today, I had my brother join us because I was afraid that you would feel intimidated by me (laughs).
Takashima
You do look quite different, too (laughs).
Yusuke
I believe we make a great pair. We have different roles at work and I think we are doing well.
Naoki
Mr. Terakado Jimon calls us the third-generation J-beef Brothers (laughs).
Takashima
If you are the third generation, that must make your grandfather the founder.
Yusuke
In 1927 (Showa 2), our grandfather opened a meat shop, Yoshizawa Shoten, in Ginza 1-chome. Later in 1951 (Showa 26), he purchased some land in Ginza 2-chome and that marked the beginning of our history as a meat shop on the first floor and a sukiyaki restaurant Yoshizawa on the second floor. Our grandmother started the restaurant.
吉澤直樹さん(写真上) 吉澤裕介さん(写真下)

Naoki Yoshizawa (top) and Yusuke Yoshizawa (bottom)

すき焼き・しゃぶしゃぶの「吉澤」

Sukiyaki & shabu-shabu restaurant Yoshizawa

精肉店「吉澤商店」

Meat shop Yoshizawa Shoten

Founder Kazuichi Yoshizawa, led the branding of Matsuzaka beef

Takashima
I have been told that you made Matsuzaka beef famous. Could please tell me how that came about?
Naoki
Before World War II, cows bore the indispensable role of today’s tractor in the fields, and they were very important to farmers. After they were worked for a couple of years in the fields, they were usually eaten in the home of the farmer. Our grandfather brought cows that had finished their duty in the fields from Mie Prefecture to Tokyo, where he slaughtered them for sale. Since they were from Mie, home to the Ise Grand Shrine, he sold the meat as “Ise beef” or “Kami (god) beef”. His beef soon became popular and people would say, “The Kami beef at Yoshizawa Shoten is delicious.” He decided to adopt brand marketing strategies to promote the beef and the Matsuzaka Beef Association was established by a group of meat traders and producers mainly based in Tokyo. At the time of establishment, our grandfather registered his store as No. 11, after his name Kazuichi, which is spelled out “一一” (characters standing for 11 in Japanese) and assumed the position of the first vice chair. This year, I have been asked to become vice chair of the association.
Yusuke
The association has been chaired by the mayor of Matsuzaka City, but the vice chair post has been passed down from our grandfather to our father, and now my brother.
Takashima
You are a distinguished family in the Matsuzaka beef trade.
Yusuke
I think that if it were not for Matsuzaka beef, Wagyu beef would not have become such a delicacy.
Takashima
I had never realized that there was such history behind beef. That was very interesting.

All List

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

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