Sake, Japanese Rice Wine

Hello, how are you doing? Today I want to write about sake, Japanese rice wine. In Japan sake is traditionally called upon “the best medicine amongst 100 kinds”. Sake is considered to be good for health if you drink moderate amount every day. Also, Japanese people present sake to shrine or temple as “holly sake”, called “omiki”. We have New Year’s ceremonial sake that each one of family member drink it at the beginning of a new year as well. It is called “otoso”. It is impossible to separate sake from Japanese culture. We have very long history of making and drinking sake. There are thousands of sake breweries all across the country, and it is estimated that there exists 20,000 different kinds of local sake. They are all brewed taking various steps and much time, so delicately and elaborately.


I took this photo at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. Each one of the sake barrel are from all over Japan and they were presented to Meiji Emperor. In Meiji era (1868-1912), the emperor was treated as a divine figure like a god, therefore I have no idea how diligently and cautiously all these sake were made.


I once read an article, in England there is a saying that if you judge a country’s richness, you can see by reading an encyclopedia that was published in the country and by drinking liquor that was produced in the country. I think it is talking about the historical practice and the spirit of creativity. I agree with the British mind.


Each local sake is brewed and created by mixing and mingling factors of the local rice, water, temperature, and the humidity and the condition of the brewery. I once paid a visit to a brewery in my city. The brewery was so dim, cool, and humid. I actually sensed that there lived numerous fermentative bacterias that are essential for making good quality sake.


In Japanese literature history, there were large number of writers who were alcoholic, such as Dazai, Nakahara, or Sakaguchi. However, it is true to many other nations as well. It is an universal truth that you capture some kind of beautiful imagination when you are tipsy.


France occupies the world market with wine and the idea to spread Beaujolais Nouveau in Japan went so successful. Korea advertise Markgolly, Korean rice wine to export. And now, Japan is using various kinds of strategies to promote the charm of sake to reach out all over the globe.


This is Katsuya brewery in my city, Munakata Fukuoka. It has more than 200 years of history and there are several kinds of sake, and I recommend you to try Okinoshima that was named after Okinoshima island that became UNESCO world heritage site.

こちらは我が福岡県宗像市で二百年以上の歴史を持つ、勝屋酒造。様々な種類の酒が並びますが、ユネスコ 世界遺産に因んだ「沖ノ島」を酒好きの人には是非飲んでみて欲しいところです。

You feel like drinking sake? Well, I hope you do. That’s all for today. Have a lovely day and night. Blessings to each one of you.


Let’s make a toast. Cheers!



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