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I went to the memorial service for Mr. M. Ando, founder of Nissin Foods well known for Cup Noodles and others,  today.  Tomorrow, January 5, marks the seventh anniversary of his passing.  In Buddhism, (I believe),  we hold special memorial service on  the 7th year anniversary, and that is why the service was held today in Tokyo (and tomorrow in Osaka where the company was founded.)

As I serve on the board of Nissin Foods, I had the pleasure to attend the  service.  The video celebrating his life was shown, and I was again very impressed with his foresight, perseverance and incredible curiosity until he passed away at the age of 96.

I had known his ingenuity, creativity and never-give-up attitude quite well, but the video shows how much he seems to have enjoyed making new things, thinking about new way of doing things and overall, life full of experiments and trial/error.  One of his last innovations was the noodle for the space astronaut!

His vision when he founded the company is 食足世平, literally translates, “the peace will prevail in the world when everybody has enough to eat” and it is still very much alive today, when many people suffer from hunger and malnutrition in the world today.   He was early social entrepreneur, trying new idea and business model to resolve global agenda.

I was particularly struck by the photo of many happy, smiling face of him and his family.  It is obvious that he had fun creating new things and loved what he did.  It is wonderful to see people love what they do and pursue their vision.  It was an inspiring afternoon and most appropriate way to start a new year.

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