Yes Miso is the the reference point for the umami flavor. It is a staple ingredient of Japanese Cuisine, making the underlying flavor of most Japanese dishes. Miso past es essentially a fermented legume or grain paste, mostly Soy bean, but can also be rice, barley or other beans.
There are many varieties of miso paste, but the most notable difference is light Miso to dark miso and all shades in between. The lighter colored miso is usually so due to less time fermenting. The longer miso spends fermenting the darker its color becomes. The darker miso is of course more pungent, and stronger. Generally miso is salty, tangy and savory on its own, The lighter miso, younger ferments have a sweeter flavor.
This miso paste can be mixed into sauces, dressings, batters, and soups. It may be cooked or eaten raw. Since miso is a cultured food (fermented Food), it’s best to add it to long-cooked dishes at the end of cooking. Be careful not to boil dishes like miso soup—too much heat will kill the active bacteria in the miso.