Yakitate means "fresh baked", but the word "Japan" is actually a pun - pan means bread in Japanese, so Kazuma is out to make Japan, a unique Japanese bread to compete with the best bread from around the world!
Azuma became obsessed with bread when he was six years old. His sister yelled that their family should start having bread for breakfast sometimes, but their grandfather refused to even consider it, as he would only eat natto, miso soup, and rice for breakfast. Kazuma agreed, saying he didn't like bread, but his sister kidnaps him and takes him to a bread store to show him the wonders of fresh-baked bread. Not only is Kazuma converted, but the owner discovers that Kazuma has the magical "Hands of the Sun" whose warmth makes them particularly suited to making bread. The owner packs up shop and goes to Tokyo to fulfill his dream of making Japan, but Kazuma continues his bread-baking dream as well, and ends up going to Tokyo himself when he's sixteen, to compete for a spot at the foremost bread store in Japan - Pantasia!