日本酒を語る

Talk about sake

2021.07.16

Knowledge

HATTAN-NISHIKI

The most popular sake rice produced in Hiroshima Prefecture is the original Hattan type. This root comes from a variety called Hattanso that used to be cultivated by progressive farmers in Hiroshima in 1875. Currently, there is only one brewery using Hattanso, which is located in Akitsu chou, Higshi-hirosima city, Hiroshima. After several times of improvements using Hattanso, Hattan 35-go (No. 35) was developed and adopted as a sake rice to be a recommended variety of Hiroshima in 1962. Hattan 35-go (No. 35), commonly displayed as Hiroshima Hattan, is still popular as a sake rice that can be used to make sake with a delicious taste of rice and a sweet flavor. Unfortunately, the weak point is that the long culm has a weak resistance to lodging and the soft rice is fragile during rice polishing. So, they started a cross-fertilization between Hattan 35-go (No.35) and Akitsuho, a rice having an excellent resistance to lodging and a high yield, and lastly gave birth to Hattan-Nishiki 1-go (No.1) in 1984. This variety, compared to Hattan 35-go (No.35), was perfect, with large and hard grains, a culm length about 10 cm shorter, and 10% more yielding. It was named after Hiroshima people’s desire to be blessed with a beautiful landscape with rich harvest of precious sake rice originating from Hiroshima Hattan. A sister variety Hattan-Nishiki 2-go (No.2) was also developed at a different attitude suitable for cultivation. No.1 and No.2 were together called Hattan-Nishiki and adopted as recommended varieties of Hiroshima, but after No.2 was excluded from recommended varieties in 2014, it was integrated into No.1. Hattan- Nishiki creates a plump and elegant taste of sake, which has been highly praised in sake competitions and adopted by more and more sake breweries even in other prefectures in recent years.
(Photo by: Hiroshima Prefectural Technology Research Institute Agricultural Technology Research Center)