Name: Tomu co.ltd
President and representative director: Sakae Ichimura
Headquarters: Ibaraki-ken Yūki-shi Yūki 7056-1
Capital: 10,000,000 yen
Scope of business: 1. Alcoholic products development
2. Alcoholic products wholesaling
3. Alcoholic products sales consulting
4. Alcoholic and related products salesOther activities as Tamagoya (co., ltd):
1. Alcoholic products retailing
2. Related products retailing
Bank: Tsukuba bank, Shimodate branch office
Management principles: “You are the protagonist!” (Anata ga shuyaku)
Motto: Pure Heart, Pure Mind
Business Purpose: To make a very good sake, receive our customers`appreciation, and spread it happily around the world…
A message from our President
I, Sakae Ichimura, was born in February 1960 as the fourth and last son of a family running a small sake store in Akenomachi village (now part of Chikusei city).
Ichimura Sake Store started its business in early Showa (late `20s), with my grandfather founding the store after ending his egg peddler activity: he used to wake up very early in the morning to look for fresh eggs in the surrounding farms, then going to Tōkyō in search of buyers; in the city he started receiving orders for sake and began to deliver it. His customers were so happy with the product that he resolved to open the shop. Things were apparently going smoothly for him.In spite of this, he died in battle in 1943, during WWII. To top it off, in 1960 my father, his successor, died at the young age of 30 in a car accident, just one week before I was born: he was coming back from a shrine after praying for my easy delivery…It was a steep fall, and then we experienced the hardships of life. And yet my family stuck together strongly, working desperately to protect our own business. So though struggling with poverty, I could healthily grow up looked after by a lively, funny and
warm hearted uncle, who was also a great sake lover (but in a way that never gave trouble to people).
Even as a slightly naughty kid I cherished my dreams and went to college. Eventually I dropped out to found a marine products company with my brother in law. As a young man I learned quite early how hard it is to manage a business.
At 23 I got married and succeded as head of our sake store. Though my wife and I worked to the best of our ability, we met many hurdles and just managed to scrap by. Looking for a way out of poverty, I started to run about the entire country to find sake makers willing to work directly for me, without the mediation of wholesalers. And this was the beginning of a series of encounters that entirely changed my view of life.Our mission: convert the yopparai (drunkard, alcoholic) in nonbee (socially pleasant drinker)
In my life I was lucky enough to meet some very special people whom I now consider my “masters”: my brother in law, my master of sake business, my master of manhood and my master of management. Without just one of these important acquaintances today my company and I would not be where we are. My master of sake sales taught me the basic rules of merchantry and the differentiation strategy, giving me the chance to achieve my first personal revolution and open my shop in Shimodate (Ibaraki pref.).
Toshimi Takagi (my master of management and eventually of life) taught me many other general things on management and strategy, leading me to a “second personal revolution” that opened my mind to a new “sake life support” business format and gave me the idea to establish a new store in Yuki.
However, many troubles occurred at the beginning and we were not doing too well. At this stage the advices coming from my brother in law and from Masaki Shinozaki (my master of manhood) were determinant.
They gave me a lot of strength and made me devote my entire life to our new activity. It is true that I am dealing with alcoholic drinks, a potentially dangerous product, but I still would like my customers to use them in a wise and pleasant way, so that they can enrich their lives instead of ruining them. In order to provide them with this special kind of help and advice, we believe small and medium sake stores do have a reason to exist. Moreover, our product differentiation keeps developing through the years to satisfy their needs and requests.
Realizing our dream
The alcohol retailing business has undergone a huge crisis that started in the mid `90s with the deregulation laws, allowing more and more shops who do not deal exclusively with alcoholic products to sell them as well. This was an almost fatal blow to many sake retailers and wholesalers.
Tomu was born to overcome this crisis through a new business model and start a revolution in our field, to make it more interesting and fascinating. This is something I cannot of course realize alone: our customers first of all, the makers who cooperate with us, our employees are all essential partners to achieve the goal.
Yōzan Uesugi(1751-1822), landlord of Yonezawa (today Yamagata pref. in Northern Japan), once said: “If you do something, something gets done. Things do not get done when people do not do them”. This is our motto at Tomu!
How about all of us betting on our possibilities?