Our Night Out With Soy Heirs, Cheeseheads and Ahnuld
Nothing like a good soy sauce to bring out the top military brass and Who's Who among Cheeseheads.
In case you wondered what happened to him, Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, emceed an event Wednesday night at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce honoring the Kikkoman Corporation's 50th anniversary in America. Myers had the distinction of recognizing two governors, a Cabinet secretary and a barrel of members of Congress, all of whom gathered to pay tribute to one Yuzaburo Mogi, chairman and CEO of Kikkoman.
A highlight of the evening was a reading from one of the Senate's more important pieces of legislation: S. Res. 323, a resolution "recognizing Kikkoman Foods, Inc., for its 50 years of operations in the United States."
"Whereas Kikkoman Foods established sales operations in San Francisco, California, in 1957, expanded production in Walworth, Wisconsin, in 1972, and further expanded production in Folsom, California, in 1998;
"Whereas Kikkoman Foods annually ships over 30,000,000 gallons of soy sauce throughout North America..."
There were a couple of other solemnly read whereas's before the "therefore be it resolved" part came, which essentially commended Kikkoman Foods for its "cultural and economic vitality of the United States."
Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) read from their own House resolution. Sens. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold couldn't make it, but a top Kohl staffer was on hand to read the Senate counterpart.
The Mogis -- there are lots of them, mostly men, based on a cursory reading of nametags -- beamed with pride. The family, by the way, co-founded Kikkoman more than three centuries ago.
Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez spoke, so did Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, who noted Mogi's connections to the new prime minister of Japan, joking, "Mogi-san moves in big circles."
And California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger piped in via video, delighting the Mogis with his uproariously hilarious (ok, not so much) one-liner: Kikkoman soy sauce goes great with everything, including Austrian food.
Then came the Japanese techno-beat digital drum duo Aun, which you could just tell Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and former Wisconsin Gov.(and former GOP presidential candidate) Tommy Thompson were really digging!
Very Kitchen Stadium-esque, by the way, for you "Iron Chef" fans.
Mary Ann Akers
September 27, 2007; 4:44 PM ET
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