05.20.2021 •

Meet The Reishi Pioneers

The Mayuzumis are a multi-generational mushroom growing family. Their humble beginnings began in the 1930s in Gunma Prefecture, a mountainous region in Japan renowned for its pristine environment and agriculture. Their journey as reishi pioneers begins with Fumimaru Mayuzumi.

How did you get your start in the study of mushrooms?

Mayuzumi and reishi

My family has been cultivating edible mushrooms in Japan since the 1930s – in fact, our family is now into the fourth generation of mushrooms growers with my daughter, Eri. While also working with the family business, I received formal training as a mycologist with a degree in Applied Microbiology at Tokyo Agricultural University in 1971.

How did red reishi become your life’s passion?

My first encounter with red reishi (Ganoderma lucidum | G. lingzhi) was during my research at the Mushroom Research Institute of Japan in the 1970s. I was fascinated by its potential therapeutic use and its long history of safe usage. While red reishi was well regarded in traditional medicine, it was rare and there were no methods for cultivation.

How did you discover how to cultivate red reishi

There is a town in Gunma, Japan called Matsuida-cho that is famous for Japanese plum trees. It was known that wild red reishi can be found on ancient plum trees, and that was where I found the Mayuzumi strain of Japanese red reishi in 1972. This is still the same strain we use in Mikei today.

In 1975, with the perfect reishi strain in hand, I then developed the natural wood-log cultivation method for growing red reishi. Although this method is time and labour intensive, this method replicates how reishi is grown in the wild in carefully controlled greenhouses without any chemicals or pesticides. This entire process takes almost a year and is how we ensure our red reishi is of high quality. I founded Nikkei Co. in 1980 to further the development of reishi as a natural health supplement for daily use.

Why did you want to introduce Mikei to the world?

Red reishi was starting to gain international attention for its many health benefits, but there were still no high efficacy and easy to take reishi product available for the average consumer. I saw an opportunity to introduIn 1991, I perfected a capsule product now known as Mikei. Our reishi essence is hot water extracted, which is necessary, to draw out reishi’s active ingredients in a safe and effective manner. Every capsule of Mikei is packed with high quality concentrated red reishi essence so that most users need only one capsule per day – a convenient, potent product with maximum benefits.