日本酒を語る

Talk about sake

2017.05.09

Knowledge

Major turning points of Sake history in Japan

When did the Japanese start brewing? From ruins of the mid-Jomon period (around 4000-3000B.C.) , pots that were used to make fruit liquor and cups were discovered. Also in a Chinese history book about Japanese people called “Gishiwajinden,” there are descriptions of Japanese people drinking alcoholic beverages. Later, when rice farming was imported to Japan in the Yayoi period (around 1000B.C.-300A.D.), sake brewing was also introduced, then uniquely evolved in Japan.Famous sake in Japanese myths is “Yashiori-no-sake” that appears in “Yamatanoorochi” story. It is written in a book dated in the early 8th century, the Nara period. In Miyazaki, there is a myth where Konohana-no-sakuyahime made amazake out of rice the name is Ama-no tamukesake. Later in the mid-Heian period, Nanto-morohaku became famous as good sake which used white rice as both koji-mai and kake-mai. This sake was unique also for its use of Bodai-moto made from the water of Bodai spring at Shoryaku-ji temple in Nara Prefecture. Methods of hi-ire (pasteurization) and sandan jikomi (three-stage fermentation process) are also said to have been invented at Shoryaku-ji temple. In Itami , Morohaku-sumizake (clear sake) using charcoal filtering was created, which is the direct ancestor of present sake.


Bodai-moto making at Shoryaku-ji

Bodai-moto making at Shoryaku-ji