We are often asked about the significance and origins of our two most widely known trademarks, Kokuho Rose® and Sho-Chiku-Bai®
Legend of the Three Sacred Treasures
The Three Sacred Treasures have ancient significance based in traditional Japanese mythology. The eight-sided mirror symbolizes self-reflection by showing the true nature of the soul. The heavenly sword stood for strength and sharpness in knowledge and decision. The comma shaped jewels have dual meanings of gentleness and amiability on the spiritual level and prosperity on the secular level.
Based on the “Three Sacred Treasures” legend and iconography, Keisaburo Koda designed the Kokuho Rose logo in honor of his family’s heritage utilizing cultural symbols that Japanese Americans could readily identify. In the center of the pink “mirror,” Keisaburo superimposed the Japanese Kanji characters of Kokuho, or “Treasure of the Country.”
In continuous use since 1962, Kokuho Rose is the trademark and property of Koda Farms, which alone produces the pure and proprietary strain of their unique rice. Historically, this rice was grown in very limited quantities. Hence, permission was granted to Nomura and Co., Inc. to utilize this trademark on Nomura’s own variety of rice which is produced in northern California by the aforementioned. To this day, two versions of Kokuho Rose® coexist in the marketplace.
The “Three Friends of Winter”
The association of pine, bamboo, and Chinese plum, is a recurring motif in Asian cultures. Because of their ability to survive the harsh winter months, these plants symbolize strength in the face of adversity. In Chinese and Japanese art and literature, the trio is collectively known as the “Three Friends of Winter.”
Introduced in 1948, the Sho-Chiku-Bai logo was also developed under the direction of Keisaburo Koda. The red plum’s five-petal flower makes up the main body of the logo on which the green bamboo and pine are overlaid. In the center of the stylized plum flower, slightly overlapped by the bamboo and pine is the white Kagami-Mochi. The Kagami-Mochi is a traditional New Year’s decoration composed of two sweet rice “cakes,” differing in size, stacked one on top of the other.