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Sake Sommelier

Jizake Raised by the Local Climate

Toshimori Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.

Hiromitsu Toshimori, managin director of Toshimori Sake Brewery holds Omachi-mai rice
in the rice field, which illustrates how tall the rice grows.

Jizake means “locally brewed sake” and the term is often employed to highlight how much the sake is attached to the area’s indigenous features. Toshimori Sake Brewery, which has brewed sake in the Karube area of Okayama Prefecture for over 140 years, strongly believes that ”what makes something real jizake is local rice, local water, and local climate.” They aim to produce sake that makes you appreciate the feeling of “the more you drink, the more you taste.” To carry out this belief, they pay special attention to their ingredients, especially rice. They successfully revived a variety, Omachi-mai rice, that was once about to disappear into obsolescence.

The story behind the revival of Omachi-mai rice dates back to 1965. The hometown of the brewery was traditionally known for high quality Omachi-mai rice called Karube Omachi. However, due to the growing mechanization of agriculture and the pursuit of productivity, Karube Omachi was neglected because it requires the solid foundation of soil and organic farming, which was against the trend at that time. Tadayoshi Toshimori, current president of the brewery, started convincing farmers and farmers’ cooperatives and lobbying the municipal office to continue the laborious production of this high quality rice, optimal for sake. He even took the risk of guaranteeing farmers certain income for cultivating Omachi-mai rice. His passion and grassroots effort gradually moved people and in 1982 the Quality Rice Promotion Council was launched in cooperation with private entities and governmental offices. Finally they succeeded in cultivating the varieties Karube Omachi and Akaiwa Omachi, named after their local town.

Toshimori Sake Brewery’s sake maximizes Omachi-mai rice and some of the selections are available in the U.S. under the brand name SAKEHITOSUJI, which is translated as “devoted to sake.” The sake made from Omachi-mai rice has a tendency to be multi-layered. It is the exact flavor that they aim for: “the more you drink, the more you taste.” For plum wine lovers, they also produce junmai-sake based plum wine, SAKEHITOSUJI Junbaishu. You can enjoy both the depth of SAKEHITOSUJI and its natural plum flavor.

Toshimori Sake
Brewery Co., Ltd.
762-1 Nishi-Karube, Akaiwa-shi, Okayama
701-2215 JAPAN
TEL: +81-86-957-3117


Three things you should know about Toshimori Sake Brewery

1. Omachi-mai rice produced in Karube
Omachi-mai rice is one of the most optimal rice varieties for brewing sake, and it is one of the seed stocks of Yamadanishiki rice, currently the most popular and best sake rice. Omachi-mai rice was once in danger of disappearing, but it was revived by the efforts of the people in Karube under the leadership of Tadayoshi Toshimori, president of Toshimori Sake Brewery.

2.SAKEHITOSUJI Junmai Daiginjo Akaiwa Omachi
Thanks to its key ingredient, Omachi-mai rice, this junmai daiginjo features a rich and full-bodied flavor. Since it has a great impact, it complements meat dishes and fatty fish like tuna. It is the perfect sake to accompany a meal, and it’s recommended to be drunk slightly cooler than room temperature.

3.Brewing sake in Bizen-yaki Jar
Toshimori Sake Brewery’s home prefecture, Okayama, is known for Bizen-yaki pottery. They have used huge Bizen-yaki Jars for brewing for over 20 years. “Using a jar for sake-brewing is the most conventional way. By employing this method, we add more depth to our sake,” says Mr. Hiromitsu Toshimori, managing director. Also, since Bizen-yaki is unglazed, the jar allows unrefined sake to breathe during the brewing process.