We are offering the finest traditionally brewed shoyu and tamari aged in wooden cedar kegs for 18 months or more. These natural soy sauces employ the use of a centuries-old method of natural fermentation involving a special koji (Aspergillus oryzae), which converts hard-to-digest soy proteins, starches and fats into easily absorbed amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids. The use of whole, premium ingredients and unhurried, natural aging in seasoned wooded casks give our soy sauce depth of character and health benefits that cannot be duplicated by accelerated, high temperature incubation in plastic, stainless steel, or fiberglass tanks. No extra alcohol is needed or added, unlike a popular "natural" soy sauce made in the U.S. which requires additional alcohol to stabilize their product. High quality traditional whole soybean shoyu, such as Mitoku's Sakuraawa and Johsen products, accounts for less than one percent of Japan's production. Over ninety-nine percent is commercial soy sauce, which is made using hexane-defatted soy beans, fermented at high temperatures for three to six months and often bottled with additives. An even lower grade product, called synthetic soy sauce, is often sold in supermarkets. This product is not even fermented, but is a mixture of hydrolyzed soy protein, color additives and flavoring agents.