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3 Long-Established Manufacturers in Japan That Sell Boxed Curry Roux

“Curry & rice” is a popular dish in Japan for all generations from children to adults. Indeed a wide variety of curry exists in the world from mild curry cooked at home to unique curry with sharp spices served at curry specialty restaurants.

In Japan, curry has been very popular to children for a long time as a staple of school lunch menu. There are also many restaurants that specialize in curry across the nation from national chain stores to privately owned restaurants, and many of them are so popular that people wait in lines to dine. Title photo by flickr


History of Curry in Japan

Photo by flickr

Curry is a food from India, but it was not directly brought from India to Japan; it apparently came to Japan through the West. Curry was introduced to Japan at the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867) when Japan decided to open the country. By opening various ports for foreign ships, western culture has started coming into Japan. Western food is one example, and curry was brought to Japan apparently around this time.

The first curry powder was also produced in Japan in the year of 1903. Yahe Imamura, the second generation owner of “Yamato-ya” pharmaceutical wholesaler (present-day Hachi Foods Co. Ltd.,) started the production then. In 1905 the company sold the first domestically manufactured curry powder with the product name of “Hachi (Bee) Curry”. Afterwards multiple restaurants added curry to their menu and started serving it.  New curry products appeared including instant curry in powder and granules, and curry has spread among people.

However, prevalence of curry as a home cooking today is without doubt largely due to the appearance of solid curry roux in the market. Today solid curry stock is one of the indispensable ingredients of curry. There are many curry manufacturers in Japan; however we would like to introduce long-established, leading curry manufacturers this time.


1. S&B Foods Co.

Writer’s Photo

As the company’s name of “S&B (Spice & herB)” indicates, this company is the long-established spice company in Japan. The founder Minejiro Yamazaki successfully produced curry powder in 1923. This company sells not only curry powder but also pepper and various other spices. The company was also the first to sell spices in tubes in Japan, and they have been constantly working on innovative product development.

The leading curry product of this company is “Golden Curry”, which was first released in 1966. Its current version is a mixture of 35 kinds of spices and herbs, and as its catchphrase of “more aromatic” indicates, it is a popular product for its rich aromatic flavor. The reputation goes that it is delicious out of box without adding anything special.


2. House Foods Group

Writer’s Photo

When the company was founded, it was a pharmaceutical wholesaler called “Urakami Store”. Having received the business operation in 1926 from Inada Food Mill that had operated curry production, it started manufacturing curry. This company sells a wide variety of products including snacks and beverages in addition to curry roux.

Their most successful curry product is “Vermont Curry”. It’s a mild curry first released in 1963, and it combined Vermont apples from the USA with honey with an eye to its beneficial effect on health. At that time curry had been generally considered to be spicy food for adults. However, this Vermont Curry was developed so that both children and adults could enjoy together, and it apparently was a shocking product that defied common sense. The product became a sensational hit, and it has kept its strong popularity to date through continuous product improvement.


3. Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd.

Writer’s Photo

The company was founded in 1922, and it has been actively developing many new products under its corporate philosophy of “deliciousness and health”. The company is most known for its nutritious snack “Glico”. However, it is a famous confectionery maker in Japan that produces dairy products, pre-packaged ready-to-boil dishes, beverages, supplements, even cosmetics in addition to sweets and snacks.

The company sells several kinds of curry roux, and its popular product is “Premium Juku (Mature) Curry”. This product is known for its deep flavor, which is produced by combining more than 20 kinds of ingredients. Even though this product is a little more expensive than other competing curry roux, it has been a popular product that has kept grabbing consumers’ taste buds and hearts.


We have introduced long-established, leading manufacturers in Japan that sell curry roux in the above, and we hope you liked it. Each company’s product is highly original and the roux itself creates delicious curry. Many consumers use it as a basis and pursue their own flavor by adding their own arrangement to the roux. We would like to suggest you to try making your own special curry by using delicious, Japanese curry roux.

Related Articles: CoCo-Ichibanya, for curry lovers

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About the author

I'm interested in general in all things related to culture and fine arts with a focus on movies, art, and design. I hope to introduce to many people all the different sides to Japan in regards to Japanese culture.

View all articles by KAWATA