In 2005, the Japan Sake Brewers Association Junior Council, a national organization made up of young sake brewers, who had become directors of their breweries under age 45, launched the Sake Samurai Project with the hope to spread sake as a culture that should not be lost but preserved. The council selects those who love Japan’s sake and food culture and have contributed to the promotion of sake, in order to confer them the title of Sake Samurai with gratitude and expectation towards their future promotional activities. Every year in autumn, the conferral ceremony is held solemnly but gorgeously at the Matsuo Shrine in Kyoto. Sake Samurais are nominated, whether they come from Japan or other countries, or whether they are engaged in the alcohol business or not. They can be food specialists, including world famous sommeliers, owners of long-established Japanese restaurants, and owners of sake shops overseas, or other various specialists such as a potter creating sake vessels that bring out the taste of sake, and a DJ who introduces the profundity of sake.
As part of the Sake Samurai Project, Samurais support promotion and operation of the sake category for the world’s largest wine competition (International Wine Challenge (IWC) headquartered in London).
They are expected to play an important role in the promotion and revitalization of sake in the future.