Sake during the Nara (710-784 AD) & Heian (794-1185 AD) Periods

Sake production was established by the Japanese Imperial court from the Nara period (710-784 AD) to Heian period (794-1185 AD).
According to the “Engi-Shiki” stipulated in 927 AD, the administrative office “Sakenotsukasa” was established along with a brewing system. Sake brewing technology evolved rapidly as well, some are introduced below.

Gosyu: Prepared in the winter time, pressed 4 times. Clear sake sweet in flavor and low in acidity.

Goisyu: Prepared in early fall. The low volume of Goisyu produced is half the volume of Gosyu produced.

Reisyu: Prepared using sake instead of water. The original form of sake that later became sweet sake enjoyed mid-summer, mirin (sweet Japanese cooking sake), and Shirozake.

Sansyusou: Sweet sake prepared with malted barley and malted rice, non-glutinous rice and glutinous millet.

5.Shiroki, Kuroki: Sake used for the Niinamesai festival (ceremonial offering of newly harvested rice). Kuroki contains kusaski ashes (from burnt grass or wood), while shiroki does not contain the ashes.

Gosyusou...High-end sake brewed with great care, used by the imperial court for important ceremonies and consumed by the Emperor (1~4).


延長5年 (927) に定められた「延喜式(えんぎしき)」には「造酒司(さけのつかさ)」という役所が設けられたとあり、醸造体制が設けられた。酒造技術も一段と進んで行った。以下に一部を紹介する。

1、御酒 (ごしゅ):冬に仕込、4回しおり(搾ること)、甘口で酸の少ない澄み酒。
2、御井酒 (ごいしゅ):初秋の仕込、製成量は御酒の1/2と少ない。
3、醴酒 (れいしゅ):汲水の代りに酒を使う、盛夏用の甘い酒、みりん・白酒の原型。
4、三種糟 (さんしゅそう):麦芽・米麹を併用、うるち、モチアワを用いたみりん系の酒
5、白酒・黒酒 (しろき・くろき):新嘗祭(にいなめさい)用の酒、久佐木灰(くさきばい)を入れたものが黒酒(くろき)。入れない方が白酒(しろき)、共に大篩(おおふるい)でろ過した。

御酒糟(ごしゅそう)・・・特に入念に醸造した高級酒。宮中の重要儀式や天皇の小宴用 (1~4)
#heian #history #japan #nara #sake


Tokyo Jizake Strolling (Scorching Summers in Japan)

By Ryuji Takahashi

This summer was too hot in Japan. The temperature seems to be rising every year. These days, exceeding 104 degF is more common. This year, experts said the temperature was higher due to how the atmospheric pressure is distributed, combined with global warming. Regular customers who are sake fans visited less frequently, a tough summer for sake shops as well. Sake is also consumed chilled in our culture, why is Japanese sake not widely consumed during the summer? Oh, I do enjoy sake during the summer, some might say. However, the overall volume of Japanese sake consumed has decreased.
Even if sake (59 degF) is poured into an ice cold beer tumbler, it wouldn’t feel right to gulp it down to enjoy the smoothness. Sake cocktails made from sake mixed with fruit juice and carbonation doesn’t feel right either. I might subconsciously think these beverages are not suitable to quench my thirst. White wine with only 1~2% difference in alcohol content is widely enjoyed in large volumes during the summer. Even from this perspective, the impression of Japanese sake might be the roadblock.
Recently, more sake flavors are similar to white wine, not a bad idea. However, the idea that summer = sake is still not established. The general impression is sake is overwhelmingly enjoyed during the winter. Simply put, the main ingredient of sake is rice, steamed and consumed with the exception of some dishes. Rice is a food ingredient preferred for hot dishes. In contrast, very few people heat and eat grapes, the ingredient of wine. Grapes taste better chilled. The impression surrounding food plays a major role in my opinion. So, what needs to be done to improve sake consumption in Japan? In my opinion, sake should be imported into Japan to learn the impression of sake overseas.
Japanese sake consumption declining year-round could be a very serious problem to the Japanese. Also, sake products made more similar to alcoholic products from other nations and foreign liquors is the strategy for sake to remain competitive. It’s clear this strategy to reconstruct the brand image of sake cannot be left to the Japanese. To the Japanese for whom there is no alternative to sake, timely help must come from overseas. To borrow the words of Dutch thinker Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, “Sake in its present irreplaceable status is the true essence of sake.”
Originally, even the Japanese may not truly understand what sake is until much older in age. As home appliances evolve technologically, the more we tend to think sake = winter, with Japanese culture lagging in sales from this stereotype which could be seen as humorous. My sincere wish is to have foreign consumers not familiar with the origin of sake to construct an appetizing brand image of sake.



#japan #japanesefood #jizake #sake #tokyo


Get Your Appetite Back with Sake

By Yuji Matsumoto

The other day I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas due to business, but couldn't believe that the day high was 45 degrees C (113 degF). With hot winds and scorching heat that may seem to melt the asphalt, I lost my appetite and found myself in an unhealthy predicament to spend a whole week in an air-conditioned room.
To ease my body from this heat, I decided to join (mariage) miso grill with a summer favorite vegetable nasu (eggplant) with extremely cold "Junmai Daiginjyo" .
Nasu doesn't contain much of nutrition value, but as you know miso (soybean paste) helps you with fatigue recovery, cancer prevention, cholesterol control, proper bowel movement, beauty improvement, brain activation, age prevention, stimulation of body function etc and the list goes on. Also, soybeans that are the main content contain fine quality protein, an abundance of necessary amino acids, saponin that is known to prevent increase of peroxide lipids, different vitamins, potassium, and food fibers etc. You couldn't be more than happy that miso goes well with Japanese sake.
So why don't we enjoy ourselves by having high nutritional value miso food and Junmai Daiginjo and help our body recover from the summer heat.



#daiginjo #japanesefood #junmai #sake


Sake Nation “Sake Parties Resumed in Japan”

By Kosuke Kuji

The novel coronavirus outbreak prompted the cancellation of sake events throughout Japan for nearly 3 years.
Measures to prevent the spread of the virus are no longer enforced since March. No behavioral restrictions were imposed during the May Golden Week for the first time in 3 years, with more than double the number of people visiting their hometown and traveling compared to last year.
Since restrictions to spread the virus were lifted in March, the sake industry held the “18th Sake Festival in Nakameguro.”
Originally an outdoor event, this year’s event was held outdoors as well. Many sake fans gathered to attend the first major sake event in years.
Of course, measures to prevent the spread of the virus were set by the Japanese government to hold events safely. Many breweries came out to Tokyo wearing masks to engage in lively discussions with customers about sake, the first step in returning to normal.
The weather was a concern for outdoor events up until the coronavirus pandemic. Many customers especially prefer to enjoy sake leisurely indoors, rather than outdoors. Although not many, more outdoor sampling events will likely be held in the post-pandemic world.
During Golden Week, my sake brewery sponsored 2 sake events in Tokyo. Our independent sake party was the first to be held since the coronavirus outbreak. Registration was instantly filled to capacity and the event was successful. Since thorough measures were in place to prevent the spread of infection, no clusters occurred from any of the events.
In the future, measures need to be set in place to continue preventing the spread of the coronavirus while actively organizing sake events, etc.
The ban on business trips overseas will soon lift, I’m looking forward to it.



#japan #japanesefood #nakameguro #sake


  • ブログルメンバーの方は下記のページからログインをお願いいたします。
  • まだブログルのメンバーでない方は下記のページから登録をお願いいたします。