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Wooden barrels used in Japanese soy sauce production. Source:  TeTsumi / Adobe Stock.

Why Only 1% of Japan’s Soy Sauce is Made the Traditional Way (Video)

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Soy sauce is a ubiquitous ingredient in Japanese cuisine, adding flavor and complexity to dishes from sushi to ramen. But did you know that only 1% of Japan's soy sauce is made the traditional way? This method involves barrel-aging the sauce for up to four years, using a natural fermentation process that has been used for centuries.

However, with the rise of industrialization in Japan after World War 2, almost all wooden barrels were replaced with steel ones, making it harder for traditional producers to maintain their methods. Thankfully, a small handful of soy sauce producers are fighting to keep this old tradition alive.

Top image: Wooden barrels used in Japanese soy sauce production. Source: TeTsumi / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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