We use the "Kamadaki" pot boiling method to produce most of our soaps. This is a traditional method of soap production in which, as the name implies, the soap is boiled in a pot. It is sometimes referred to as the "saponification and salting-out method." "Saponification" is the process by which natural fat and oil react with alkali to become soap. At Matsuyama, each saponification produces around 5 tons of body for solid soap. The saponifying pot is 2 meters in diameter, which is relatively small for this kind of equipment. At Matsuyama, we believe this is exactly the right size because it allows you to visually monitor subtle, instantaneous changes in the reaction that cannot be measured mechanically. After saponification, natural salt is added and the soap and impurity separated out. Salting out and still standing help the unsaponificates to react. This is followed by a final round of salting out that removes as many potentially irritating components as possible. It takes 100 hours from the time the raw materials go into the pot until the completion of the soap. The process takes place in the oldest workspace in the factory, a place we lovingly refer to as the "Pot Room."
Matsuyama was founded in 1908 as a sundries trading company, and began to make soap in 1945. At that point in Japan's history, the only requirement for soap was that it "wash the dirt off" and "lather well," and as long as it did that, it was fine. Fifty years later in 1995, the company launched its first original brand, the M Mark series. From that time, it has continued to develop its unique approach to monozukuri, focusing on the core technologies of oil and fat saponification (the "Kamadaki" pot boiling method) and fatty acid neutralization (transparent soap production method). Matsuyama's soaps are simple. They can be used by anyone, from children to adults, to wash the face and body. There is almost no irritation, making them as easy on the skin as they are on the environment. These are soaps that are faithful to the ideal. We also produce body soaps, shampoos, lotions and creams. These are all products that people find difficult to select, not knowing if "they will be suitable to my skin." That is why we try to ensure that cleansers can be fully rinsed off and do not remain on the skin. Skin care means providing the skin with exactly what it needs, no more and no less. Washing and caring go together. We continue to create new value for our customers as a WASH & CARE company.
What level of quality is required by daily products? At Matsuyama, we believe there should be a balance among safety, environmental friendliness and usefulness. Our products maintain their usefulness, but are also safe and easy on the natural environment. They are designed to be comfortable and fun to use each and every day, and they are priced so that you feel good about using them too. We believe our job is to plan, design, manufacture and deliver to you products that meet all these requirements. At the same time, we also believe it is important to create "products we want to use ourselves" and "products that we can be proud to tell our families we made." These are the aspirations that are embodied in reliable quality.