Goriki is a sake brewing rice originating from a variety selected among some indigenous rice around 1900 by Shinpei Watanabe, an experienced farmer in Tottori Prefecture. The tests were started at the Tottori Prefectural Agricultural Research Center from 1915, and through the repeated tests, Goriki was appointed as a recommended variety in 1921. Sake using Goriki had a strong taste and was loved by many brewers. Goriki also received a high reputation as table rice. At its peak, it used to be grown in one third of all the rice cultivation areas in Tottori. However, having a longer stem length and weak resistance to lodging with low yields, it disappeared at the time of food shortages during the war.
Then around 1990, with the support of Morio Nakagawa of Nakagawa Brewery and Takao Nishio, the former director of the Tottori Prefectural Agricultural Research Center, who had a desire to make local sake in Tottori using local sake rice, together with the advice from Hiroshi Uehara, a sake brewing technical adviser of Tottori Prefecture, who is known for his book called “’Junmaishu wo Kiwameru (Mastering Junmaishu)”, the revitalization of Goriki started. They used a small quantity of seed rice that had been preserved by Osamu Kinoshita, Professor of Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, and revived it to the level where single variety could yield for brewing. They started brewing Goriki in 1989. Then in 1998, a group called “Goriki wo Hagukumu Kai (Supporting Goriki)”was established by breweries and producers. For the purpose of preserving the pure blood of this variety, they are committed to the production as to be exclusively produced in seed orchards in Tottori and all of the nine breweries participating in the group (as of July 2020) brew the same brand of sake respectively, so they have created an environment for Goriki from various directions. In 2006 and 2007, Nakagawa Brewery’s daiginjoshu called Inaba Tsuru Gohriki won the gold prize in the Annual Japan Sake Awards, where the excellence of Goriki was officially proved.
(Photo by: Nakagawa Brewery Co., Ltd.)