The history of cheese in Japan can, surprisingly, be traced back to ancient times, as cheese culture existed since the early times in Western Asia. In fact, records of a dairy product called "So," similar to the Mongolian cheese "Urum," was found in ancient documents, such as the "Nirvana Sutra," which was written in around 650, the Heijokyu historical sites in Nara, and the ruins of Prince Nagaya's royal residence.
Though cheese has been eaten for a long time, the consumption of cheese per Japanese person was less than 10g until 1946. In 1975, however, the total consumption of cheese in Japan increased dramatically to 63,000 tons, and in 1986, the consumption of natural cheese increased to the level of processed cheese, while the style of eating cheese has changed as well. It is believed that this increase is due to the established habit of using cheese in dishes such as pizza and cake.
Today, Japanese milk and dairy products can't be spoken without mentioning Hokkaido. Domestic milk production in Hokkaido exceeds 50%, and most of it is used for dairy products such as cheese and butter. Many workshops producing natural cheese reside in Hokkaido, some of which offer cheesemaking experiences. If you are interested in Japan-made cheese, we also recommend our cheese knife and cheese boards, which are delicately made by Japanese craftsmen and truly functional in design, through which you would experience the "Japanese culture" even more.
Azmaya's Cheese Knife
Azmaya's Cheese Board
Yoshita Handi-Design Studio's Cheese Board