As their company name implies, Ichimasa Kamaboko Co., Ltd. is famous for making kamaboko 蒲鉾, a kind of cake made with deboned and pureed fish and other flavorings. Although traditional kamaboko steams the fish puree into often semi-circular loaves, kamaboko can be used to describe a broader range of surimi products, including kanikama or crab sticks like this:

Whatever shape they take, Ichimasa products are enjoyed by people young and old all over Japan, both as part of home cooking in everything from rice dishes, stews, salads and other dishes, as well as in bento boxed lunches. Foreign visitors will also surely recognize things like naruto (the sliced fish cake with a red and white swirl pattern) in their ramen, and flaked fish sticks in sushi or salads.

One quite vocal fan of Ichimasa products is the US-born and Harvard-educated comedian, voice actor, DJ, entertainer and TV commentator Patrick Harlan, who goes by the stage name Pakkun, from the comic manzai duo Pack'n Mack'n. Harlan has made several appearances in Japanese TV commercials, as he seems to be appreciated for his outgoing, intelligent, and sincere image.

According to Ichimasa's latest press release, he's not only a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the United Nations Summit in September 2015, but he also enjoys Ichimasa's seafood products in his bento lunch every day.

It may therefore come as no surprise that Ichimasa turned to Harlan when they were looking for a spokesperson for their latest ad campaign focusing on SDGs.

In Ichimasa's new TV commercial entitled: 「おいしさを未来へ SDGs篇」("Deliciousness for the Future: SDGs"), "Pakkun" expresses Ichimasa's current efforts to achieve SDGs through their activities.

With a blue sky and the sea in the background, Pakkun speaks powerfully about SDGs. In his opening line, he says: "The origin of Ichimasa is gratitude for nature and contribution to people. It is also a promise to the next generation." As he continues, various SDGs are highlighted as text in the background.

This commercial, now airing in the Niigata, Hokkaido, and Kanto areas, is a condensed version of Ichimasa's vision of the future and its activities.

Ichimasa has been contributing to SDGs in various areas by implementing ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) management, which aims to achieve both a sustainable society and increase corporate value through business activities. For example, in the field of health, they provide healthy fish-based products. For the environment, they tried reducing food waste by extending the shelf-life of their products, protecting Japanese eels by launching an eel-free unagi kabayaki product, and reducing their carbon footprint by switching to eco-friendly packaging. For society, they've focused on their own employees by improving life-work balance and hiring people with disabilities, as well as in society at large by contributing to food banks. Finally, when it comes to governance, they strive to conserve and manage marine resources by procuring raw materials in strict accordance with ABC (allowable biological catch) standards.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.