Women who shine for our future #03

Ayumi Matsumoto, Director at UCHU wagashi

Preserving the Japanese-style confectionary tradition while shaping the next 100 years

Ayumi Matsumoto is a director at UCHU wagashi, a cute and modern Japanese-style confectionary brand by Kyoto-native graphic designer Katsuya Kimoto. As a student she was eager to work and once took a temporary leave from a university in Kyoto to intern at a company in Tokyo. Eventually returning to Kyoto, Matsumoto met Kimoto while seeking for a job that would stimulate her creativity. “Kyoto is filled with innovative people who keep their cozy action plans. Kimoto-san was basically operating on his own when I first met him, but I was intrigued by his vision and strategy for the future as a business person and knew that I wanted to learn from him.”

It has been five years since they first met and Matsumoto is now responsible for everything from store operations to creating promotional materials, but she shyly says “I am still very much in my learning phase”. She continues to explain, “The concept of UCHU wagashi is ‘Modern Japanese-style confectionary that shapes the culture of the next 100 years’. The brand aims to be not just chic or trendy, but to preserve the tradition while creating products that are timelessly relevant. I hope that one day, I will be able to propose a new perspective on something essential, even if not Japanese-style confectionary. All I can do is continue to grow.”

To respond to the needs of customers who live in the now, LUMINE will continue working as a “Life Value Presenter” to support women who shine for our future.

Ayumi Matsumoto, born in 1986, was raised in Tottori Prefecture. She began working at UCHU wagashi in 2012 and has been in charge of manufacturing, product planning and sales. Her current scope of work includes managing sales and delivery, store displays, promotions and HR.

2. The Teramachi store near Kyoto Imperial Palace has a refined design.
3. Fish-shaped rakugan and kompeito “swimmy mini” (1,190 yen) is a limited summer edition. Made of natural ingredients, it requires a humidity controlled environment.
4. Matsumoto took part in the Kyoto Tower Sando Store which opened this past April.

Text: Kaori Shimura
Photograph: Ittetsu Matsuoka