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■ Featuring "Ice Cream," August 31 to September 29







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■ The first president passed away in 2008 and the second did in 2016.

T: Yes. I met the second at the first time when I joined this company. We were close in age.

Not long ago, the third's son came to our factory to experience the Buta-man making. He's 10 years ago now. His grandfather (the second president) had the one he made and praised so much as giving him 10,000 yen. So I guess I need my lifetime more to see the fourth take an active part.



■ What's the mission of you who were left behind in this world?

T: We have to keep the Horai's tradition for next generations. For instance, we don't open any branch stores except the Kinki district. We have to supply fresh ones and cannot open at the places too far from our factory. It is our policy. The furthest store is supposed to be in Kusatsu, Shiga.


■ How about an increase of the production factories?

T: Some have suggested so. "Why not built another factory in the vacant area of Saitama?" said one of them. However, extending our activity deteriorates our production control. It means we stab our customers who desire our products in the back.

When I was young, I suggested the founder to introduce machines in production. We were unable to make the meeting of supply and demand at the time, because our supplying power wasn't enough. Introducing machines can improve the supplying power.


■ Reasonable is it!

T: The founder didn't agree, however. He said "Our Buta-mans are so tasty because of being handmade. Machines may change the taste. It is a sell-out to our customers."



■ The founder's policy!

T: I believe he was right. Horai were grown up by the customers. So we must be serious and faithful. We all the workers believe so. Therefore, we often open a small store for a limited time at exhibitions in department stores that stand in the areas too far from us.


■ How do you make it?

T: We bring the necessary mixer to the district. In other words, we put a small-scale factory there for a limited time. Our sales department has two groups for the use. They are very busy.


■ I got you. How do you feel about the Kinki area?

T: I love them who have grown us up. So I have tried hard for advertisement, as repaying an obligation. I want them to be fond of Horai as much as possible.


■ Now, wouldn't you say a word about Horai, in the end?

T: Horai's shu mai, not just Buta-mans, are also tasty!



■ Good publicity! Thank you very much, sir.


Interview & Text by Misaka Youhei
Photos by Horai Inc.

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