Baking & Snack - February 2021 - 20

BAKING HALL OF FAME

MACHINERY
MASTERMIND
Known for his mechanical insight, Tatsuo Oshikiri
brought the Japanese baking industry together.
by Charlotte Atchley

W

With post-war Japan struggling to feed its citizens, Tatsuo
Oshikiri introduced automatic production to the country's
baking industry. As an engineer, Mr. Oshikiri's career began at the Imperial Navy's Technical Institute during World
War II where he designed tools that would make the mass
production of Zero Fighters for the Navy possible. After
the war, with the Technical Institute shuttered, Mr. Oshikiri
was commissioned to develop a mixer that could use standard 100v power for a former colleague's bakery.
At the time, small bakeries in Tokyo could not use a
three-phase mixer because they lacked a proper power
supply. Bakers had to mix flour by hand. Three years later, by salvaging steel from burned-out parts of the city,
Mr. Oshikiri developed and completed the first 100v
power horizontal low-speed mixer. This system empowered not only small bakeries but also households to bake
bread to feed their families with the emergency wheat
being brought into the country by the United States. As
demand for the mixer grew, Mr. Oshikiri established his
company, Oshikiri Machinery, in 1951.
As Western eating habits influenced Japanese life,
bread and other baked foods grew more popular. When
the baking industry expanded to keep up, Oshikiri lead
the way in automated production. In 1955, the company developed overhead proofers and makeup systems.
In 1961, the firm went international, exhibiting at the
International Baking Industry Exposition in Atlantic
City, NJ. A couple years later, the manufacturer exported
its equipment for the first time. By 1967, to keep up with
growing sales, Mr. Oshikiri built a 22,000-square-foot
plant in Fujisawa-Shi in Kanagawa prefecture.

20 Baking & Snack February 2021 / www.bakingbusiness.com

Today, Oshikiri Machinery produces equipment for
ingredient handling, mixing, dough makeup, proofing,
baking, slicing and bagging systems. Always at the forefront of innovation, Mr. Oshikiri also pioneered microwave baking technology with his MICRON microwave
pasteurizer oven. The company opened its United States
subsidiary in 1986 - a lifelong dream for Mr. Oshikiri
who was grateful to the United States for its food assistance to post-war Japan.
Mr. Oshikiri also was a leading force in uniting Japan's
baking industry.
After the war, many associations sprung up to serve
different machinery manufacturers. In 1962, the Japan
Bakery and Confectionery Machinery Manufacturers'
Association (JBCM) was formed to bring many of them
together. As a driving force to forming the association,
Mr. Oshikiri was appointed its first chairman.
Mr. Oshikiri was well-respected in the baking industry for not only his engineering expertise but also
his commitment to bettering the world around him.
Industry professionals from Yamazaki Baking Co. and
AMS-KOHL GmbH noted not only his incredible insight into the industry and equipment but also his commitment to justice and building trust with his customers.
In acknowledgement of his accomplishments, the
Royal Emperor of Japan awarded Mr. Oshikiri the Yellow
Ribbon Medal of Honor in 1982. The award recognizes
those who are considered public role models through
their diligence and perseverance in their profession.
Mr. Oshikiri died in 1989. He served as chairman of
Oshikiri Machinery until the time of his death.


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Baking & Snack - February 2021

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