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Our Story

Why we started Onigiri Kororin

Hi, I'm Yuta, the founder of the ONIGIRI KORORIN. I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. When I first came to Chicago two years ago, I wondered why there was no onigiri even though other traditional Japanese foods such as ramen and sushi were popular. Onigiri is one of my favorite Japanese foods and has vast potential. It's tasty, handy, and healthy!


I have pride in Japanese culture and food. I want to make Japanese cuisine more approachable and introduce an authentic cultural experience. So in the summer of 2020, I started selling onigiri, here in Chicago. I hope you enjoy it! Let's make onigiri the next popular Japanese food in America.


Our Journey


Kororin was started by two graduate design students. Yuta came to Chicago from Tokyo and wondered why there wasn't any onigiri in the US!


In July 2020, he invited Cristina, who also shared a love for food entrepreneurship to join Onigiri Shuttle Kororin.


A 5-week business prototype school project. Cooking out of a shared kitchen, only taking pre-orders and delivering onigiris at parking spots with Yuta's Chevy Volt to different neighborhoods in the City.


After 5 weeks Yuta and Cristina decided to give it a shot as food entrepreneurs and committed full-time to the business.


Today, Onigiri Kororin continues offering onigiris through their cloud kitchen restaurant, farmer's markets, virtual onigiri classes, and DIY onigiri kits. The two founders are committed to providing Japanese-inspired products and learning experiences to support healthy and fun lives.

What is "Kororin"

KORORIN is named after a Japanese fairy tale, "Omusubi Kororin" (The Rolling Rice-balls). The story is about a nice old man who drops his onigiri and follows it down a hole into the mouse castle. He enjoyed a party with the mouse and then received a gift box filled with treasure. Learning what happened, a greedy old man tried the same; he intentionally dropped a lot of onigiris into the hole. After he reached the castle, he attempted to steal the mouse's fortunes by imitating the cat. However, the strategy failed, and the mouse punished him. 


It's a story about honesty and harmony. We won't be like the greedy old man. We value sustainability and fun. We hope people in Chicago will enjoy our onigiri and this will provide a little happiness in this challenging time.

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