Let the memory of “Nekkara Akindo
(A Born Merchant)”
be with us forever

The founder of the entire group of Azuma Foods companies

Toshinobu Azuma a man full of creativity and a trailblazing spirit, with a character that took pleasure in being constantly active.

He nicknamed himself "Nekkara Akindo" (A Born Merchant), and lived a life in which he was fortunate enough to call his work his hobby. He would visit all bases of operation in Japan, the USA, Canada, the UK, China, and Peru once or twice a year and always looked forward to doing it. We will never forget the look of joy Mr. Azuma had when he traveled to the US and stopped by Las Vegas to play roulette.

A lover of noodles and sake, he could always find comfort in seeking out Japanese restaurants to eat soba noodles while visiting other countries.


Mr. Azuma was born on February 29th, 1944 in Hyogo Prefecture, the third son of four children. He grew up around a lot of people, sharing his home with his extended family. As a child, when he got home from school his mother would divide tofu that she made among the he and his siblings so that they could go out and sell it.

It was at this time that Mr. Azuma discovered the fun of selling.

He later gained experience as a salesman when his twin brother (the current Chairman of Takuma Foods Co., Ltd.) introduced him to a job at a wholesaler near JR Yokkaichi Station.

Mr. Azuma gained independence and entrepreneurship at the age of 22. He purchased dried foods, such as beans and seafood, from wholesalers and began selling them himself. Working from his home, he packaged each item to suit the specific needs of his customers and sold them to bars, supermarkets, restaurants, and izakayas throughout Mie Prefecture.

In December of 1966, he founded Azuma Shoten in Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture. This was the beginning of the Azuma Foods Group story as it would go on to expand around the world.

December 1966
Founded Azuma Shoten in Yokkaichi, Mie, Japan
June 1983
Incorporated Azuma Shoten to become Azuma Foods Co., Ltd.
July 1984
Established Azuma Foods International Inc., U.S.A. in California, USA
October 1988
Opened Kyushu Office in Fukuoka, Japan
July 1990
Established Azuma Foods International Inc., U.S.A. in California, USA
March 2003
Established Azuma Foods (Canada) Co., Ltd. in British Columbia, Canada
December 2003
Opened a New York Branch in New Jersey, USA
May 2007
Opened a new Sales Office in Hawaii, USA
July 2008
Opened Tokyo Office in Tokyo, Japan
January 2010
Established Azuma Foods (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. in Suzhou, China
September 2014
Established Azuma Foods UK Ltd. in London, UK.
May 2017
Opened Azuma Foods (Canada) Co., Ltd. Toronto Branch in Ontario, Canada
December 2019
Established Azuma Foods KampoPerú S.A.C. in Lima, Perú.
December 2019
Retired from Azuma Foods Group
February 22, 2022
Rest In Peace