During the prime of the Edo period, also known as the Tokugawa period (1615 – 1868) a young man in Toyama prefecture perfected the use of natural herbs and ingredients to produce “Medicine Balls” that was portable and greatly increased the quality and life span of his customers.
The Edo period was a time of relative peace and stability, following centuries of warfare and disruption. The merchant and artisan classes prospered during this period and Japan saw a great urban expansion. Not only do well-established cities such as Osaka and Kyoto thrive, but new castle towns that serve as the administrative center for provincial daimyo and their samurai retainers were built and flourished. It was a time where the arts and quality of health and longevity became popular amongst the upper-class.
Providing personal attention and highly trusted by their customers, a new marketing system of “Baiyaku-san” as they were called grew and expanded in the Toyama region as they brought the medicine balls throughout the country. Located at the valley of the Japanese Alps, Toyama region, till today, is considered the “Pharmacy Kingdom” of Japan; due mainly in part of the rich soil, abundance of organic produce, water and air quality. It was from the Edo period that the foundations of Japanese Traditional medicine were slowly perfected and guarded secretly within a few families.
The skills of making the “medicine ball” had been passed down through the centuries and a descendant of such a family, Mr. Inagaki Shouichi, holding steadfast to the century traditions of his forefathers in hand-pressing every ball and using only the best ingredients, the company grew steadily and in 1977, was incorporated as Umeken® Co. which in Japanese means “the Study of the Plum” signifying freshness, healthy benefits derived from all natural, organic ingredients.
Today, Umeken® sells over 200 tons and 1,000 million of its patented balls per year and boasts of two state-of-the art manufacturing plants in Toyama, a raw ingredient plant in Itakura, Japan’s only Spirulina Farm in Okinawa and main offices in Osaka and Tokyo.
The supreme quality encompassed in their manufacture of these “medicine balls” led to Umeken® being presented with the highest Japanese award of achievement in 2001, honouring Umeken®
With its vast accolades and Umeken’s traditional processes ensuring only the highest efficacy and effectiveness in all their products, through decades, Umeken® has been a trusted name for many Japanese households and a consistent supplier to the household of the Imperial Family. A tradition and assurance that any product under the Umeken® name, signifies superior quality and comes with a mark of guarantee.
Giving high priority to the environment and safety - Toyama Factory
In order to provide safe and secure products to everyone, we have organic JAS certification by two different organizations. We request farmers to contract cultivation, pay particular attention to raw materials, and constantly make raw materials with considering food safety.
Proud of 200 years history and treasureable traditions
Toyama has pharmaceutical tradition over 200 years, and Toyama's medicine has been trusted over Japan for a long time. We ae able to manufacture various kinds of products from hard to soft by utilizing our traditional methods. We can rovide various formulations and shapes which could be portable and easy to take.
Aiming for further innovation of technology
As a consignment processing manufacturer of health foods, we have done quality control based on voluntary standards. In addition, we are continuously improving equipment and control systems following guideline of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. In 2005, we obtained the Japan Health and Nutrition Food Association GMP certification. The new facility is a highly designed one considering the flow of people, goods and air inside the facility.
Intergrated production system from raw material extraction to manufacturing
For a product development, we always sleect the most suitable ingredients, processing and packaging method. As we do all the process to the last at our own factory, we are able to control the every processing stage. There are sampling or testing equipment at each section to keep the product uniformity.
Umeken Farm in Okinawa Perfecture, Miyako Island
"Miyako-jima Wakan Research Institute" was established for focusing on the soil specifically at Miyako Island. We cultivate and process Okinawa Prefecture's unique Ryukyu herbs and plants in the Miyako Island. We have independently studied the materials and made it possible to consistently carry out all processes of cultivation, extraction and commercialization.
Safety certifications, tests and assurance
We have in place strict safety standards that go beyond national & international standards. We do reggerous tests from radiation, heavy metal, microbial, UV/VIS, High performance liquid chromatography etc. from our trade, wildcrafted and organic raw ingredients to our finished product.