I remember my family had a Kikkoman soy sauce dispenser on the table when I was a child. I believe many other households also had that same soy sauce dispenser. And I am sure many Americans have seen the bottle at grocery stores or Japanese restaurants.
The soy sauce dispenser was revolutionary in many ways. It was both a container to sell soy sauce, and a serving dispenser to use on the table. It was so well designed that it didn’t leak or drip. The functionality and modern design grabbed the heart of Japanese, whose lives were just getting better after the WWII.
Prior to the soy sayce-in-dispenser, soy sauce was sold in a large glass bottle (about half a gallon). It wasn’t easy to pour out from a large glass bottle into a small dispenser at home.
But the most important contribution of the dispenser was to expand the market share of Kikkoman. It eventually made the word “Kikkoman” as a synonym to soy sauce in the world.
Kikkoman soy sauce dispenser also marked the beginning of household product designs in Japan. The soy sauce-in-dispenser was such a big hit, almost all Japanese household had it at one time.
But people tend to feel differently when everyone has the same thing. Nowadays, not so many Japanese use the Kikkoman soy sauce dispenser any longer, because it looks cliche of Japanese industrial design.