HISTORY OF FUGETSU
Since the opening of the first restaurant over 60 years, Fugetsu has maintained the same quality and standards of Okonomiyaki which now has become one of the iconic and cultural staple food of Osaka, Japan.
The roots of Fugetsu date back to the dark days after World War II in Osaka Tsuruhashi where numerous small shacks crammed the neighborhood. People huddled together around the black market where they found their only ways to survive through hunger. Around that time, an old couple decided to start a Okonomiyaki restaurant in a narrow street corner with one thing in their mind – we want to make people not be hungry. This was the origin of what has now become known as Tsuruhashi Fugetsu today.
Serving affordable and delicious Okonomiyaki drew huge crowds and made the store popular in no time that anyone who was raised in that area knew about the restaurant. Kids looked forward to having their parents take them to the restaurant and considered it as a big treat. And after several visits, they became so familiar with the restaurant that they often stopped by after school before heading home.
“Hey, can I talk to you?”
It was 1989 when the old lady running the restaurant called up Takanori Ituskage who was a regular at the store asking him whether he was interested in taking over her business. Loved by many in the area for over half a century, Okonomiyaki has become a cultural staple food of Osaka. During that period, the couple had desperately worked hard to grow the restaurant, and Itsukage was determined not to dim the lights of such a place that has now become a special place for many people in town.
The old lady likely worked hard not necessarily for business but rather simply wanted many people to taste her Okonomiyaki. Now that the baton has been passed down, he is determined to bring Okonomiyaki to a wider audience while at the same time keeping good with the promise to keep the same recipe. Since then Fugetsu has expanded its presence across all over Japan operating over 70 stores (as of 2015.12), and now the stage has been set to bring Okonomiyaki to the people in the US.
A gentle old man and a generous old lady couple worked tirelessly everyday to fill people’s empty stomachs with Okonomiyaki, and people responded by coming back to the restaurant over and over again. The signature dishes and the recipe that drew people back has not changed a single bit from those days.
Even after 60 years, the same restaurant and recipe still lives on has now been passed on from the couple to a man who frequently visited the shop as a child. He is determined to carry on the foundation built by the couple and promises to keep passing on the recipe the old lady created.