A Message from Sake Brewer Jihei Isawa
Firstly I would like to offer my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this disaster, and also my deep appreciation to all those still doing their utmost for the reconstruction effort.
As a fellow brewer, my heart aches whenever I hear reports of earthquake-destroyed sake breweries in Miyagi prefecture, where I am based, and in other parts of the Tohoku region. The disaster also occurred right in the middle of preparations for brewing, so the frustration of the chief brewers and other workers comes through to me loud and clear. The people of Tohoku have always been said to be straightforward, patient and indefatigable. Even now, they are gritting their teeth and trying to move forward, one step at a time.
Since ancient times, sake has been an offering for the highest gods of the land. Drinking sake is also part of Shinto rituals to drive out people’s evil thoughts and commune with the gods. Drinking sake is nothing less than a Shinto ritual that can bring you together with the people affected by the disaster in wishing for the reconstruction of their land.
I would like to make a heartfelt plea here for your cooperation: please drink sake from Tohoku, especially the disaster-affected areas of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi. Sake from breweries in the coastal area would be even better. Every glass contributes to breweries’ recovery, and promoting and drinking Tohoku sake can be a noble prayer for recovery. Come, join with me to “support recovery by drinking sake!”
Katsuyama Kuramoto, Sake Brewer to the Sendai House of Date Date-style Sake Master