Kikkoman Corporation is a Japanese food manufacturer. Its main products and services include soy sauce, food seasoning and flavoring, mirin, shōchū, and sake, juice and other beverages, pharmaceuticals, and restaurant management services.
Kikkoman has production plants and offices in Japan, the U.S., the Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Canada. Kikkoman is the most popular brand of soy sauce in Japan and the United States. The village of Sappemeer in Groningen, the Netherlands, is the European headquarters of the company. A plant on the site began operations in 1997 and now produces over 400 million litres of soy sauce per annum.
Founded in 1917, it is based in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is a combination of 8 family-owned businesses founded as early as 1603 by the Mogi and Takanashi families.
Kikko, which means tortoise shell in Japanese, and man, meaning 10,000, were chosen first as the trademark and later as the company name. This was to symbolize longevity, as according to Japanese folklore a tortoise lives for 10,000 years. This symbolism is found in Kikkoman’s logo, which is a rebus that consists of the Chinese character for 10,000 (萬 wàn) surrounded by a hexagon, representing a tortoise shell; see Japanese rebus monogram for more examples.