INTERVIEW

A Voice from Toji(Master Brewer), Itano Shuzo Honten

Movie

History & Tradition

Established in the year Meiji 3 (1870). The area where our brewery is located was governed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi1’s wife Nene2’s older brother, and we are brewing there because the land is connected with Hideyoshi Toyotomi. The sake brewery has been in use since the Edo Period, and is still in use today. The water used in brewing is also connected to Hideyoshi Toyotomi: immediately next to our brewery is a body of water called the Ashimori River, which was used strategically in war tactics, and he succeeded in capturing the castle. Therefore, people who are interested in the Sengoku Period can appreciate and enjoy our sake even more if they know the history of the period.

  • 1 Hideyoshi Toyotomi: Nobunaga Oda’s vassal; after Oda’s death he was a military commander who ruled the entire country.
  • 2 Nene: Hidoyoshi Toyotomi’s wife

About the Work of the Brewmaster

We learned about sake making from our seniors, who were Bitchu brewmasters. Because we aim to produce sake that is soft, gentle, and with ‘umami’ and sweetness, we are working to bring out these features and make a sake that is not too simple and light, not too clean but which has some depth of flavor.

About Omachi Rice

A feature of Omachi rice is that the seed of the rice is an old, historical seed, and because of this the rice has a bit of texture and features of ancient rice3. If you imagine ancient rice a little while drinking, I think you will be able to really enjoy the drinking experience.

  • 3 ancient rice: varieties of rice cultivated since ancient times

Methods / Characteristics / Specialties in Manufacturing

Because Japanese sake has a long history, we cherish tradition, and by using ingredients harvested in Okayama Prefecture, we are making local sake in the real sense.

Characteristics of Sake from this Brewery

We produce a sake called “Hime-zake”4, which is relatively low in alcohol. In an era when many other brewing companies are aiming to produce sake that is like water, we continue to protect the old methods and to make sake the old-fashioned way.

  • 4 “Hime-zake”: sake that is marketed towards women that has a lower alcohol content

What Consumers Should Enjoy When Drinking Sake

I hope that consumers enjoy our sake with meals, and because I want to emphasize the sake Flavor as a main point, that is best done by drinking our sake while having a meal.

Itano Shuzo Honten

Brewer Detail

< Maiko Tsuji

Yuji Miyake >