Bill Shurtleff   Akiko Aoyagi

William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi spent their formative years on opposite sides of the Pacific.  Born in California on 28 April 1941, Bill received degrees in engineering, honors humanities, and education from Stanford university.  He taught physics for two years in Nigeria in the Peace Corps and has lived and traveled extensively in East Asia and Third World countries.  He speaks seven languages, four fluently, including Japanese.

Akiko Aoyagi, born in Tokyo on 24 January 1950, received her education there from the Quaker-run Friend' School and the Women's College of Arts.  She has worked as an illustrator and designer in Japan's modern fashion industry and America's emerging soyfoods industry.

Starting in October 1972, Bill and Akiko began working together, doing research and writing books about soyfoods.  They worked together for six years in East Asia, mainly Japan, studying with top soyfoods researchers, manufacturers, nutritionists, historians, and cooks.  Over 820,000 copies of their 55 books on soyfoods are now in print. Akiko has illustrated all of the Center's popular books and technical production manuals , including the covers.

In April 1976, Bill and Akiko founded the Soyinfo Center, and since that time they have worked to introduce soyfoods, especially traditional low-technology soyfoods, to the Western world.  They feel that soyfoods can play a key role in helping to solve the world food crisis while providing high-quality, low-cost protein and healthier diets for people everywhere.  Their work has led to the establishment of hundreds of soyfoods businesses making tofu, soymilk, miso, tempeh, and other soyfoods, and to the publication by others of more than 50 books about these foods.  Their nationwide tours and many lectures, demonstrations, and media appearances have drawn widespread acclaim.

Soyinfo Center also produces SoyaScan, the world's largest bibliographic database on soybeans and soyfoods, containing more than 84,325 records (publications, original interviews, unpublished archival documents, and commercial soy products) from 1100 B.C. to the present.  And the Soyinfo Center Library and Archives houses more than 75,000 documents - many unique.

Their global view and uniquely holistic, interdisciplinary approach are aimed at presenting the best of both traditional lore and modern scientific knowledge about soyfoods in a language accessible to both laymen and professionals.

William Shurtleff is presently director of Soyinfo Center.  Akiko Aoyagi is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.  She runs her own art business at Walnut Creek, California.

If you would like to help in the larger work related to soyfoods and world hunger, or if you have any questions, please contact Soyinfo Center.

Soyinfo Center
P.O. Box 234
Lafayette, CA 94549 USA
Phone: (925) 283-2991