Sake ... Jizake local rice wine


Local Rice Wine (jizake)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


kaiun sake 開運酒 Sake for your Good Luck
( 土井酒造場 )

. kudarizake 下り酒 Sake transported up to Edo .


Local brands of rice wine 地酒 (じざけ)

Plenty of good water leads to plenty of local rice wine brands with a special flavor.

I will introduce some brands as I find haiku about them.

CLICK for more photos

Liste in Book jisake saki ricewine
The first sake has been introduced in the region of Nara, to prepare ritual MIKI 神酒 for the shrine and temple rituals.

. Jindaisugi 神代 杉 
"Pine of the Gods" sacred sake 御神酒 .

shrine Tamaki Jinja 玉置神社

We also have

nihonshu no hi 日本酒の日 Day of Ricewine, Sake Day
October 1

That is a kigo for late-autumn !!


Water, well water, spring water of Japan

Sake Rice wine (ricewine) sake, Japan Reiswein

rice wine for cooking, ryoorishu 料理酒

. WASHOKU - - - irizake 煎酒 boiled-down sake  
The Flavor of Edo


- quote
Kanpai! Sake through the ages

“A civilization stands or falls by the degree to which drink has entered the lives of its people, and from that point of view Japan must rank very high among the civilizations of the world,” observed essayist Kenichi Yoshida in “Japan is a Circle” (1975).

The first foreigners ever to record observations of the Japanese — Chinese envoys of the third century A.D. — noted, “They are much given to strong drink.” Traces on prehistoric pottery suggest fruit-brewing as early as the Jomon Period (c. 12,000 B.C. — c. 300 B.C.). The history we’re embarked on is therefore a very long one — with no end of parties to crash!
- source : Michael Hoffman - Japan Times - October 2013


Sake and Japanese Culture
Written by Dr. Koizumi Takeo, Professor,
Tokyo University of Agriculture
Since time immemorial, people have brewed alcohol and enjoyed it as part of their culture. In many parts of the world, alcohol has held a place of honor and been romanticized as an ideal. The Japanese are certainly no exception. Many centuries ago, they began blending their staple food, rice, with pure water and koji micro-organisms to make Nihon-shu (Japanese sake), skillfully taking advantage of nature and local environmental conditions to create a distinctive brew.
From beverage of the gods to a drink for the common man
The most potent alcohol in the world
Microorganisms: The secret behind that intriguing fragrance and taste
Sake as part of culture
Sake was created by the ancestors of today’s Japanese. For centuries it has been part of the life of almost every person on the archipelago, because of its importance in rites commemorating everything from birth to death. Sake is more than a drink taken to enjoy a tipsy time—it also serves a vital social purpose at the defining moments in life.
and much much more :
source : web-japan.org/nipponia, 2008


. Azuki Arai  
小豆洗い 特別純米原酒

washing red beans -
a river turned

The wonderful world of Japanese monsters
by Mizuki Shigeru !


External LINKs

Jizake Center

Sake Brand names
BORN Choya Dassai Echigo Fukucho Biho Gassan Haguro Hakkaisan Hakuro Suishu Hakutaka
Hatsuhana Hatsushibori Hisui Red Hojun Zuiyo Hotarugawa Hyosho Jinyu Kakunko Kamotsuru
Kanchiku Kikumasamune Kikusui Kinoene Yuu Ga Kirin Kokushimuso Kokuto Koshino Kagiroi Kubota
Michinoku Onigoroshi Miyozakura Nagaragawa Nanbu Bijin Nihonkai Nihonkoku Rihaku Sato No Homare
Senshin Sharaku Shimeharitsuru Shochikubai Suigei Sumiyoshi Taisetsu Takashimizu Take No Tsuyu
Taki No Koi Tamanohikari Tengumai Tokugetsu Yaemon Yuki No Matsushima

Shochu Brand names
Ayamurasaki Beniazuma Beniikko Gankutsuoh Hachijo Hakutake Iichiko Ikkomon
Kaido Kakushigura Kiccho Hozan Kurokame Mizuho Satsuma Shimauta Shiroyutaka
Sudachi Synchro Takara Tenshi No Yuwaku Tomi No Hozan Torikai Towari Yokaichi



"Sake Samurai" Timothy Sullivan


Japanese Ways to drink Sake

kanizake 蟹酒 sake with crabs
drunk from the main shell of the crab.
Or put some crab legs into a masu square wooden sake cup and drink with the meat dangling in front of your eyes ... mmmmmm !
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Otokoyama Sake Brewery and Museum
Asahikawa Hokkaido

The award winning Otokoyama company has been making sake from Hokkaido's Mt. Taisetsu spring water for over 340 years. The pure spring water is rumoured to possess remedial healing elements that provide a drinker a long and healthy life. For this reason it is a favourite amongst Japanese. The museum provides a wonderful insight into the making of sake and explains how deeply rooted sake is in Japanese culture and tradition.
source :  Otokoyama Sake Brewery and Museum


Doburoku どぶろく unrefined sake, homemade sake
Doburoku Matsuri Festival
WASHOKU : Doburoku Festival at Hagimachi, Shirakawa go

. Kibuna, ki-buna 黄鮒 / 黄ぶな "yellow carp" .
local brand from Tochigi


hanekishibori sake 撥ね木搾り(はねぎしぼり)
a special way to press the mixture for ricewine with a very long trunk of a tree of about 8 meters (haneki). Moromi is packed in sacks, stacked in a barrel and then pressure is added slowly by pulling a rope to change the position of the long tree trunk. More than a ton of stone weights are also added.
practised by Yoshidaya in Shimabara, Kyushu. 吉田屋
CLICK for LINK : www.bansho.info

Sake is prepared in this way from March to April. It is a family tradition and much more time-consuming than normal sake brewing.


六花酒造 津軽 うめ カップ

With fresh water from the mountains of Shirakami Sanchi
and white rice from Aomori, Mutsu Homare むつほまれ

. Rice from Tsugaru .


sakekasu 酒粕 sake lees
This whitish stuff is used in making vinegar, and in pickling or preserving food.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Sake-Treber, Sake-Maische


chirori 銚釐 ( ちろり) metal sake container
used to heat or cool small portions
In Kyoto there is a maker of pure tin chirori for special situations.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

akaboshi no chirori ni hibike hototogisu

Akutagawa Ryunosuke 芥川龍之介


kijooshu 貴醸酒(きじょうしゅ) Kijoshu. special sweet rice wine
It is not set up with water but with rice wine and is rather sweet in taste.
For 100 units of rice it uses 60 units of rice wine (and not 130 units of water, as in normal rice wine). It is then aged for up to 8 years. It is more like a port wine with a ruby color.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Ricewine from Niigata

ichiyo raifuku 一陽来復 "Sun is coming back"
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Ichiyo raifuku 一陽来復 at the Winter Solstice

. Shoojoo 猩猩 /猩々 Shojo, a legendary drunkard
a brand from Nagano

Worldwide use

Lokaler Sake, lokaler Reiswein, regionaler Reiswein
Sake aus einer bestimmten Gegend

Things found on the way

. kunshu sanmon 葷酒山門(くんしゅさんもん)
Temple Gate, no garlic or liquor beyond this point!


Echigo is located at the side of the Sea of Japan and famous four its loads of snow in winter.

Suganadake from Echigo
越後五泉の主峰 『菅名岳』

Sunagadake is the name of a famous mountain in Echigo.
. . . CLICK here for Mountain Photos !
The water comes from a famous spring of the area.

. . . CLICK here for Photos of the sake!

The haiku are from a group of mountain climbers, written on the New Year night spent in a mountain hut at Mount Suga-na-dake.

Suganadake ha ni shimitooru kanku kana

Suganadake ...
the cold of January
seeps in my teeth

chawanzake kanku no sora ni kodamashita

drinking sake from a tea cup ....
the cold of January
echoes in the sky

source : www7.ocn.ne.jp

kanku is a cold period around January 13, according to the Asian lunar calendar.


The essence of crystal water “Sugana dake, Okura yama”
Having approximately 300 year old primeaval forest of beech trees, the harmony of most covered rocks and clear flowing water provide a new aspect to seasonal beauty. Clear water wells up from many locations at the foot of the mountains.
In particular, “Doppara Shimizu” and “Yoshimizu” are famous as brands of water.
The water from Doppara Shimizu is used to make local brands of sake and every year in January, people from around the country participate in the Kanku No Mizukumi event. In addition, the area around Yoshimizu wells and cottages are prepared, drawing sightseers from all over Japan.
MORE about
source :  Gosen-City.


Blind Woman from Echigo (Echigo goze)
Echigo and Haiku


Geert Verbeke 2008

Geert Verbeke, December 2008


All translations on this page by Gabi Greve, unless stated otherwise.

Related words

***** Mizu : Water, well water, spring water of Japan

***** Sake Sake, Rice wine (ricewine) Reiswein

***** Jibiiru, local beer brands 地ビール, Bier

***** Daruma Masamune 達磨正宗 Aged Rice wine

Futsukayoi ふつかよい(二日酔い/ 宿酔 )
hangover and its natural remedies

. Saikusa matsuri 三枝祭 Saikusa Festival
for sake brewers, at shrine Saigawa in Nara, June 17




Anonymous said...

first frost on the grass
gets a dash...
sacred sake

hatsu shimo no kusa e mo choi to o-sake kana


by Issa, 1815

Most likely, Issa is offering the sake in thanksgiving to the harvest god who has granted a good rice crop.
No rice, no rice wine.

Tr. David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

waga kinu ni Fushimi no momo no shizuku seyo

on my robes
let there fall dewdrops from the peach blossoms
of Fushimi

A greeting hokku to his host Ninko.

With a Sake of this name
"momo no shizuku"

Fushimi, Kyoto

Gabi Greve said...

a famous ricewine, 酒

Benkei no Sato 弁慶の里, produced in Tanabe town.


Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson and his SAKE poems
sake o niru uchi no nyooboo choto horeta

sushi o osu ware sake kamosu tonari ari


Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

sake nomanu mono irubekarazu kiku no kado

stay out!
gate to the chrysanthemums

The chrysanthemum garden is a place for flower-viewing and sake drinking.
(tr. David Lanoue)

Gabi Greve - Masaoka Shiki said...

Masaoka Shiki

samukeredo sake mo ari yu mo aru tokoro

It is cold, but
we have sake
and the hot spring


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...


sake no izumi 酒の泉 Sake Spring
at Takinoo Shrine 滝尾神社, a subordinate shrine of Nikko Futarasan Shrine
別宮滝尾神社 酒の泉【さけのいずみ】

Sake brewed with this water is especially delicious.

Gabi Greve said...

Satsuma - Kagoshima
'sorakyu' そらきゅう is a kind of o-choko cup for sake. It has a small hole at the bottom.
You cover the hole with your finger and pour sake/shochu.
Kagoshima is famous for big drinkers, you have to finish the cup otherwise sake will spill out!

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

minogame 蓑亀 minokame,
"turtle with a raincoat" art motives

and sake

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Matsunoo Taisha 松尾大社 Matsunoo Grand Shrine
Matsuno'o Taisha
sake brewing

Gabi Greve said...

Tax agency may narrow definition of ‘Japanese sake’

The National Tax Agency is considering defining “Japanese sake” as a home-brewed alcoholic drink made from Japanese-grown rice in order to differentiate it from foreign-brewed sake, according to sources.

The agency is mulling the definition to improve the brand of Japanese sake and help give a boost to its overseas sales, the sources said Tuesday.

Members of the World Trade Organization have agreed to the use of “geographical indications” for products whose origins are linked to their quality.
Toshie Hiraide, who works to promote Japanese sake internationally for domestic sake promotion group Sake Samurai, said the change would push forward a national discussion to encourage Japanese sake brands internationally.

The move is a very important step “for bucking up the value of Japan-made products,” she said, especially given that domestic sales are declining.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Akita, Yuzawa

Managu 爛漫(秋田銘醸) まなぐ凧シリーズ
with the image of a famous local kite,

managu tako まなぐ凧 "kite with big eyes"
painted only with black Chinese ink. managu is the local dialect for manako 目玉 eyeball.

beraboo tako ベラボー凧 with a face sticking out the tongue

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

白鹿 Legend of the White Deer“Hakushika" Sake

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

senshin 洗心 cleansing the heart / mind
a philosophical aspect and
sake to go with it !


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Yui Shoosetsu - Shōsetsu 由井正雪 Yui Shosetsu (1605 - 1651)
There is even a line of Sake rice wine named after Yui Shosetsu.
- 正雪 無量寿(むりょうじゅ)大吟醸 Shosetsu Muryoju brand
- 由比正雪にちなんだ酒銘

Gabi Greve said...

Amanosake, Amano Sake 天野酒
from Osaka and Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Gabi Greve said...

bureikoo 無礼講 bu-reiko or burei-ko
After a REIKO Shinto ritula, the rules are forgotten.
A group doing BUREI, behaving without rules.
- quote
Bureiko is a Japanese term for the minor breakdown of rules that tends to occur at work parties, known as nomikai.
Japanese companies consider nomikai to be an important part of team building. Although attendance isn't strictly mandatory, skipping a team nomikai may be perceived as problematic and is generally view negatively. In many teams, any excuse is used to schedule nomikai such as work milestones, welcome parties and goodbye parties. There are also annual nomikai such as bonenkai or team hanami parties.
... Bureiko is widely regarded as being valuable as an alternative reality from the rigid rules that traditionally govern Japanese business situations. It allows ideas to flow more freely and teams to bond.

Gabi Greve said...

Shizuoka Izunokuni,
Egawa Sake

A sake brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, has recreated a sake beloved by feudal warlords including the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate launched in the early 17th century.

The Bandai Jozo brewery in the city of Izu has recreated Egawashu, a fruity and sweet sake brewed using techniques from over 320 years ago.
Egawashu was passed down in the Egawa family, a prestigious family dating back to the Heian period of the eighth to 12th centuries. Egawa family members served as "daikan" local governors in Nirayama, now the city of Izunokuni, Shizuoka, for generations.

The drink was named by Hojo Soun, the first head of the later Hojo clan, and enjoyed by many warlords including Oda Nobunaga, according to Takayuki Hashimoto, 68, curator at Egawa Bunko, a foundation that manages the Egawa Residence, a national important cultural property, and the national historical site of the former Nirayama daikan office.