Yakisoba - New York Times, Minimalist

In February Mark Bittman - NYTimes, Minimalist featured this recipe:
I have prepared it several times, quite like it, and think that it is going to be part of my rotation.
Might not be 'authentic' as Bittman freely admits.

is my bulldog sauce expired!!??

ok so I bought this bulldog yakisoba sauce bottle and I just noticed on it there is a date of 2004.01.21!

I cant read the kanji and I do not know if it means expiration or sell by date...

any thoughts?

Im hungry for yakisoba! yummmmmm......