Yatte Minahare

At Suntory, we always embrace the unknown. We always dare to question the status quo, take on new challenges, and never give up. We believe that courage is the key to great success, and that the future belongs to those that dream big.

This spirit is embodied in our value, “Yatte Minahare”―the spirit of ambition to dream big, take challenges, and never give up. This is our founder’s saying, which drives us to go on bold ventures and to be pioneers and entrepreneurs.

Our Stories

How It All Began

“Yatte Minahare” was the favorite saying of our founder, Shinjiro Torii. It means dream big, take challenges, and never give up. This spirit of bold ambition is the base of everything we do here at Suntory. This phrase drives us to turn those dreams into reality.

Suntory’s story starts in 1899. From the beginning, our founder Shinjiro was full of ambition and daring. He pushed boundaries even with his very first store in Osaka, which he started with the vision to bring Western-style wines and liquors to Japan. Shinjiro’s idea was brave. However, despite his hard work, the wines did not sell well. This is because Japanese consumers were not used to the flavors of Western wine. But Shinjiro did not give up.

He continued towards his vision, developing original wine for many years. His goal was to create a Western-style liquor that would suit Japanese tastes. It took almost 10 years to develop and create Akadama Port Wine in 1907. Akadama Port Wine was a sweet wine that appealed to Japanese customers, and it eventually became one of the most popular wines in Japan. But Shinjiro’s story did not end there.

In 1923, Shinjiro started a whisky business with the vision of creating an authentic Japanese whisky to suit Japanese tastes. Many people thought this was impossible. But Shinjiro was different. He was driven by passion, determination, and daring.

In 1929, Shinjiro released Suntory Shirofuda (White Label). This first authentic Japanese whisky had a smoky flavor that did not suit Japanese palates, and it did not go well. After many challenges, he finally launched Suntory Whisky Kakubin, with its iconic square bottle, in 1937. This whisky quickly became very popular, and got Suntory recognition as the pioneer of Japanese Whisky.

“Yatte Minahare” is the saying that embodies Shinjiro’s pioneering spirit and bold pursuits of dreams. These words, and his spirit, continue to drive us forward today.

Pursuing the Perfect Beer

We always take new challenges and never stick to the status quo. It was Keizo Saji, the second president of Suntory, who made the decision to enter into the beer market by building our own brewery. At that time, the beer market in Japan was dominated by a few major companies and it was difficult for new entrants to compete. Furthermore, Suntory had been having a lot of success in the whisky business. This decision was powered by Shinjiro’s favorite saying, “Yatte Minahare.” Today, this is one of our core values and it always encourages us to dream big, take challenges, and never give up.

To introduce new type of beer to Japanese people, Keizo and his employees thoroughly studied foreign beers by visiting breweries and market overseas. After years of research of various aspects including water, and many trials and errors, we launched Suntory Beer in 1963. For years later, we launched Jun-nama, Japan’s very first “nama” (non-pasteurized) beer. This Jun-nama was well-received in the market, and drove us to develop new, even more innovative products. Over the years, we strived to develop products that would suit the increasingly diverse tastes in Japan. In 1986, we released the 100% malt Malt’s beer.

Pursuing the dream to create the world’s highest-quality pilsner beer led us to develop The Premium Malt’s. This is a premium beer made from the finest ingredients and a unique production method. It won the “Grand Gold Quality Award” in beer category at the Monde Selection competition in Belgium for three consecutive years, from 2005 to 2007. Today, The Premium Malt’s is a leading premium beer brand in Japan, and is enjoyed overseas.

Here at Suntory, we have a never-ending drive to innovate and to grow. Even in the mature beer market in Japan, we will keep challenging, and provide new value and drinking styles to our customers.

Our Daring Entrepreneur Spirit

Here at Suntory, we are never satisfied with the status quo, and we are always taking challenges to create and offer new value to enrich our consumer’s lives. In all of our challenges, we have always been driven by our “Yatte Minahare” spirit, which encourages us to dream big, take challenges, and never give up.

We began expanding our presence in the non-alcoholic beverage business in 1972, after our success in the wine and spirits industries. At the time, people still brewed tea themselves. After years of thorough research on the tea leaves themselves, the blending methods, quality control, and the different production methods, we launched canned oolong tea in 1981. It was suited to Japanese tastes and quickly became very popular. It also popularized the Ready to Drink concept―drinks you could enjoy anywhere, at any time―in the tea market. Suntory Oolong Tea is one of our best-selling products and a well-known brand in the non-alcoholic beverage market in Japan.

In 1992, we released the BOSS canned coffee, which was made to provide rich and flavorful options and act as an “aibo” (a reliable partner with many years of trusted experience) for working people. Over time, BOSS has grown into a long beloved brand with a variety of products, all designed to suit the various changing lifestyles and tastes of our consumers. In recent years, we have also released choices for healthier life styles like Suntory Black Oolong Tea and Iyemon Tokucha that the Consumer Affairs Agency of the Japanese government has certified to be “FOSHU” or “Foods for Specified Health Uses.” With our wide non-alcoholic beverage product portfolio, we provide value to our consumers every day.

We took up the new challenge of entering the health and wellness market in the 1990s, utilizing the expertise accumulated from our experience in various types of R&D. Our first supplement, Sesamin, was launched in 1993, after our long research and success in scientifically proving the health benefits of sesame seeds, which had always been thought to be healthy in Japan. Since then, we have been developing and delivering multiple high-quality health and wellness products globally.

We boldly ventured into the restaurant industry in 1970s and the flower business in 1980s to delight our consumers by providing new dining experiences and colors to their everyday lives. Since the 1990s, we have been developing our businesses overseas, becoming a world-leading company in both the spirits and soft drink market.

Suntory’s history has been shaped by our spirit of bold challenge. We dream big and do things that nobody has done before. We work tirelessly towards our ambitions, and never give up. Our passion has driven us to create new markets and new value. Powered by our “Yatte Minahare” spirit, Suntory will dare to dream, as we always have, to provide even more value to consumers throughout the world.

Making the Impossible Possible

When you dare to dream, the journey is never easy. Just as Shinjiro Torii strived for his dream so many years ago, in Suntory, we dare to take challenges. This is because we believe the most rewarding challenges are the ones we choose for ourselves. This is the story of us making the impossible possible, with the development of blue rose, APPLAUSE.

You may have never seen a blue rose. Blue roses symbolize the impossible. They’re something that no one else had been able to produce, but at Suntory, we thrive on making the impossible a reality. Developing blue roses was a way for us to show our “Yatte Minahare” spirit.

We started making these “impossible” flowers in 1990. Senior General Manager, Yoshikazu Tanaka, PhD was the perfect man for the job. His team of experts worked tirelessly to complete the most fundamental step—isolating blue genes. The team were successful in achieving their first goal in 1991. The dream of the world’s first blue rose seemed very close.

But this would not be a “Yatte Minahare” story without some adversity. Sadly, the first batch of roses, which bloomed in 1994, was not blue at all. But we were not discouraged. We decided to try something different and succeeded in growing blue carnations in 1995. Encouraged by this success, we moved forward. In 2004, we finally succeeded in creating the world’s first blue rose, with beautiful blue petals—a flower that was said to be impossible to create. Without having followed our dream and kept challenging until the success, we would not have arrived at this achievement.