The Yawataya Isogoro Company had its origins in the mid-18th century. At that time, the northwest part of Nagano city, known as "Nishiyama", was famous for the production of hemp and Japanese paper. Merchants carried these products to Edo (present-day Tokyo) and to most other regions of Japan. On their journeys throughout the country, the merchants bought food and daily necessities, and brought them back to sell in the environs of Zenkoji Temple as a side job. Some of the goods brought back by the merchants included shichimi togarashi. One such merchant was Kan'emon, the founder of the Yawataya Isogoro Company. He began selling shichimi togarashi in the grounds of Zenkoji Temple in 1736.