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Umeken: From centuries of traditional Kampo medicine to skincare innovation

Article - May 1, 2024

"Our products beyond the limit by contributing to health both inside and outside the body." Hidekazu Sakamoto, Chairman Umeken Co. LTD.

Founded in 1978, Umeken began as a company researching Japanese Kampo medicine from the oldest health food used in Japan, pickled plums. The traditional techniques for making Japanese Kampo into a ball shape that have been handed down from generation to generation for more than 200 years.

The company's chairman, Mr. Sakamoto, explains, "This technology allows us to combine as many as 45 different oriental herbs into a single ball, allowing us to offer products tailored to our customers' needs.

Since its inception, the company has grown internationally and maintained a presence in overseas markets for over 30 years in countries such as the United States, South Korea, and Southeast Asia.

In 2020, Umeken launched the cosmetics brand optimo, which delivers skincare products using ingredients grown on its own farm. Mr. Sakamoto explains, "Supplements contribute to health from the inside of the body, but cosmetics contribute to health from the outside," which is the reason behind Umeken's expansion into the skincare industry.

The company already has been exporting its products to Southeast and Northeast Asia, Oceania, and North American countries, and Umeken aims to expand its business further and achieve an overseas sales ratio of 50%.

 As Japan's population ages, the company hopes to pass on its unique Japanese materials and formulation technology to young people in Japan and worldwide.