Tenkei Seika Confectionery, a leading company in the semi-sweet confectionery industry (located in Toyooka Village, Nagano Prefecture, led by President Yoshinobu Katagiri), held a centenary celebration ceremony on July 15th at "Es Bird" in Iida City's Zako-ji Temple. Approximately 180 guests, including dignitaries and employees, attended the event.
The southern Shinshu area, centered around Iida City, has a tradition of tea ceremonies dating back to the Edo period. During the Meiji and Taisho eras, confectionery making flourished alongside the thriving sericulture industry. After World War II, confectionery production became increasingly mechanized, becoming one of the pillars of the local industry. Today, it is regarded as the mecca of semi-sweet confectionery production.
The origin of Tenkei Seika Confectionery can be traced back to the founding of Tajimaya Kashipan, which was established in February of Taisho 12 (1923) with the creation of "hazeokoshi." The current president's great-grandfather, Gyuutarou, and his eldest son, Chuichi, were the founders.
After a hiatus during the war, they resumed production with substitute confections like sweet potato candies in Shouwa 21 (1946), and with the lifting of control measures in Shouwa 24 (1949), they began producing fresh confections. In Shouwa 27 (1952), they shifted from fresh confections to mass-producing semi-sweet confections, establishing Tajimaya Confectionery Co., Ltd. in September of the same year. In Shouwa 34 (1959), the company was restructured into a corporation.
Although they were progressing well, Shouwa 34 (1959) marked a difficult period with the formation of a labor union and the sudden passing of Vice President Moritaka Katagiri, who played a central role in the company at the time, leading to concerns of bankruptcy.
Subsequently, in July of Shouwa 41 (1966), President Hiroshi Katagiri (father of the current president) took the lead in revitalizing the company and established Tenkei Seika Confectionery Co., Ltd., which continues to this day.
During the centenary celebration ceremony, Chairman Hiroshi expressed his gratitude for reaching this significant milestone, reflecting on the challenging journey they had endured. Overcoming the threat of bankruptcy and standing on the stage of success, he emphasized the centenary as a momentous occasion to look forward to the next hundred years. He boldly declared, "Let us carry a grand vision, as if we carry the world in our hearts, and strive to create happiness," resonating with deep emotions.
It's worth noting that "Creating Happiness" is engraved on the centenary monument erected in front of the 5th factory and also serves as the title of the anniversary commemorative book.
Guest of honor, Mayor Kikuyasu Shimodaira of Toyooka Village, expressed his joy at the company's development rooted in Iida's culinary culture and reaching the centenary milestone. He extended his wishes for Tenkei Seika Confectionery, carrying the torch of traditional culture, to continue producing delicious products and sharing them with the world in anticipation of a bright future for Iida and Shimo-Ina, especially with the advent of the Linear Chuo Shinkansen and the opening of the San'en Nanshin Expressway.
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