Formed in 1954, Murakami Syoten is a third generation sugar company located in Osaka. Starting first as a sugar trader, Murakami has grown into a sugar processor that also specializes in Okinawan Brown Sugar.
Okinawan Brown Sugar (called Black Sugar in Japan), is a niche product, comprising one half of one percent of the Japanese sugar market. Only sugar produced on 8 of the 160 islands in the Okinawan archipelago can be called Okinawan Brown Sugar. What makes this an even more specialized product is that the sugar from each of those islands is unique thanks to the terroir of their locations and the exact type of sugarcane grown.
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The brown sugar that we source from Murakami Syoten is from Hateruma Island, the southernmost inhabited island in Japan. Hateruma Island brown sugar is considered the most desirable of the Okinawan brown sugars. Although Hateruma Island is tiny, just under five square miles in area and with only around 600 inhabitants, a confluence of factors produce an outstanding product: the calcium from the coral island; the subtropical climate perfect for growing sugar cane; and, of course, the skill of the farmers and sugar plant workers. The resulting sugar has a deep flavor with earthy mineral tones and savoriness.