How miso is made? – from Tokyo miso manufacturer

Kojiya Saburo Uemon (Tokyo)  “Hand Made Miso”

100% additive-free ingredients and naturally brewed handmade Miso, which has been inherited from previous generations

“It’s impossible to dissociate food from our health. I have been inheriting additive-free and naturally brewed process. Miso, well made with good ingredients is definitely tasty, safe and healthy. Though it takes time and costs, I think nothing can be greater than health. “ As the owner of Kojiya Saburo Uemon, ancient line of miso manufacturer in Tokyo, Mr. Masahiro Tsujita has been making miso using the same tool with the perpetuated manufacturing process since more than 100 years ago.

What does “Handmade Miso” mean?

Miso is made mainly from Soybean, koji and salt. Koji, usually made from rice or barley determines the taste of miso. In Kojiya Saburo Uemon, koji is made without using any machines during manufacturing; sprinkle Aspergillus oryzae to steamed rice and let it stand for 3 days.


How miso is made ?
Here is the miso manufacturing process. Before making miso, salt is mixed with koji in advance.

  1.  Steam soybeans
  2. Cool the steamed soybeans and mash
  3. Add koji (mixed with salt beforehand) into soybeans
  4. Ferment and age in barrels for months or a year


1. Steam soybeans


Soak soybeans in clean water for 18 hours


Steam soybeans using super big pressure pan. A cloud of vapor rolled out or the factory, and it is surrounded by the smell of soybeans.


2. Cool the steamed soybeans and mash


Steamed soybeans


Stir soybeans for cooling using a wooden shovel, sending air with electronic fan. It should be done briefly since aspergillus oryzae would be dead if koji is mixed with hot soybeans. Also soybeans would be discolored if they are left stayed hot.

3. Add koji (mixed with salt beforehand) into soybeans


Add koji (mixed with salt) to soybeans and beat it up


Churn completed

4. Ferment and age in barrels for months or a year


The churned koji+salt and soybeans are filled in a large wooden barrel, and then ferment and age for months or a year to become miso. Many traditional miso manufacturers continue to use wooden barrels to make miso, since miso bacteria which lives in a barrel enhance miso’s flavor during fermentation and aging. Over the centuries, a miso barrel has been handmade by skilled craftspeople, however such experts have been fewer and fewer these days. In Kojiya Saburo Uemon, their barrels have been used for a long time by repeated repairs.


Masahiro Tsujita: The 7th owner of Kojiya SaburoUemon


After succeeded the Kojiya Saburo Uemon in 1985, Mr. Tsujita has devoted himself entirely to making miso over 20 years. He is also holding making-miso class to spread its great taste.


Kojiya SaburoUemon (糀屋三郎右衛門)

Kojiya Saburo Uemon is a miso manufacturer in Tokyo. With 6 employees, they maintain their traditional process of making miso, without changing to mass production. Their handmade miso has been loved by consumers.


Address: 2-29-8, Nakamura, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Web site:

Email address:

Kojiya Saburo Uemon


Related Book : BOOK OF MISO

About 40 years ago, William Shurtleff, author of 「BOOK OF MISO」visited Kojiya Saburo Uemon, and learned about miso for weeks to write this book. As Miso’s bible, the BOOK OF MISO is highly evaluated by miso-fan people around the world.


The Book of Miso (1976)
Author: William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi
278 pages
Published August 29th 2001 by Ten Speed Press (first published 1976)
ISBN:1580083366 (ISBN13: 9781580083362)
edition language: English


You can see the recipes using miso

What is Miso?