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After ‘miracle recovery’, Fukushima brewers look to the Games to push sake globally

Greedy bloody criminals, having no conscience to poison all the people with their radiation contaminated sake!!!

hhjkmmAn employee of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery picks up a sharaku sake prepared to be packed in crates during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture.

AIZU WAKAMATSU, Fukushima: The earth in Fukushima still trembled when Yoshihiro Miyamori drove in the dark towards his sake brewery. When he got back after midnight, he found smashed sake bottles and a crack in the wall of the building. It was Mar 11, 2011.

Miyamori was on his way to visit other sake-makers along Japan’s northeastern coast that day, and barely escaped the tsunami unleashed by a massive earthquake that razed towns and killed thousands, setting off nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima power plant nearby.

“I needed some time to think about how I could recover from this,” Miyamori, 43, told Reuters on a recent tour of his “sakagura,” or sake brewery, Miyaizumi Meijo, in Fukushima’s city of Aizu Wakamatsu.

The breweries’ sales tanked by 66 per cent that month.


fggjhjkjlkkAn employee of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery works on rice soaking during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture.

“I know people outside Fukushima were concerned about safety of rice and water,” said Miyamori.

With the Tokyo Olympics less than five months away, many spectators, and even some Olympic committees, have expressed concerns about the food from Fukushima.

But nine years after the nuclear meltdowns, Fukushima sake has made a remarkable recovery, winning the most trophies at one of Japan’s most important sake competitions seven years in a row. And Miyaizumi Meijo’s flagship brand Sharaku has become one of Japan’s most famous.

“We just kept doing what we know best – making quality sake,” he said.

But Miyamori’s understated comments hide a sake obsessive who abandoned a safe job in Tokyo to take over his father’s struggling business at 26. He revolutionised the production, renovated the brewery and paid off nearly US$3 million in debt.

After taking over in 2003, Miyamori pushed to directly oversee the sake-making – an anomaly in a business where normally the production is outsourced to brewing teams led by the “toji”, or chief brewer.


hgjhkjllmEmployees of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery work on rice steaming during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu.

He sparked a backlash from the staff after moving to use specially filtered water to wash rice for each bottle, leading to an eventual departure of the toji and most of the brewing staff.

“I wanted to be particular about every single small detail of making sake,” said Miyamori.

He opened up the previously secret production data to staff. Whiteboards covered with numbers and diagrams on temperature, rice condition and alcohol content are scattered throughout the premises to ensure workers know what goes inside each bottle.

Miyamori launched Sharaku, known for its crispness, well-balanced acidity and sweetness, in 2008. The brand started ranking high in the Sendai Sake Summit, a nation-wide competition, before the 2011 earthquake. It became No. 1 in the year of the disaster, greatly aiding the recovery.


gjkjlmmSharaku sake of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery pass through a filled bottle inspector during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.

But Miyamori says he could not lead the rebound of the region’s sake on his own. He was first inspired to take over his father’s brewery after coming across Hiroki, a rival sake from the region, also led by a next-generation owner Kenji Hiroki, 53.

Now that his Sharaku has matched Hiroki in popularity, the two brewers drink together and tease each other about reviews of their alcohol.

Miyamori’s next rival is wine, he says, adding that he wants to use the Olympics to popularize sake globally.

Kenji Hiroki says of Miyamori, “you can brew better sake if you have a rival you can respect. Without Sharaku, Hiroki would not be as good as it is.”


March 20, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Abe makes sales pitch for Fukushima sake at Davos

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other Japanese officials toast with sake produced in Fukushima Prefecture during the Japan Night event in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
Jan 24, 2019
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND – On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a sales pitch for sake produced in Fukushima Prefecture.
At the Japan Night event in Davos, Abe advertised Yamato no Kokoro, produced in Fukushima’s Aizuwakamatsu from rice that his wife, Akie, grew in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where his electoral home district is located.
In the past, it would have been unthinkable for a sake brewer in the Aizu region to use rice from Choshu — now Yamaguchi — Abe said in a speech, noting that the Aizu and Choshu domains fought against each other in a civil war amid the 1868 Meiji Restoration.
Yamato no Kokoro is a symbol of peace, he said.
“I hope you’ll enjoy Japanese food and sake, the strongest of the country’s soft powers, and visit Japan to enjoy the real stuff,” Abe said.
The prime minister was making an appearance at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting for the first time in five years. Abe made a speech at the Davos conference and stressed the need to promote free trade.
He returned to Japan on Thursday evening.

January 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan Night reception to serve a selection of Gold Prize-winning sake

Promotion of Fukushima Prefecture’s sake by the Japanese government in total denial of  the Fukushima radiation contamination existing health harmful risk!!!
Various sake brands from Fukushima Prefecture have won the Gold Prize at the prestigious Annual Japan Sake Awards 2018
Jan 22, 2019
Six kinds of Fukushima Prefecture’s sake will be served to complete the feast at the annual Japan Night reception during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 — one of the events that VIPs from around the world attending the conference look forward to the most.
Fukushima, as one of the major rice-producing prefectures in Japan, is known for its flavorful sake, which relies heavily on the stable harvesting of quality rice.
At the Annual Japan Sake Awards 2018, one of the most prestigious sake competitions that dates back to 1911, Fukushima had 19 brands of sake take home the Gold Prize. Out of 850 entries submitted from across Japan, 232 were awarded the Gold Prize, and Fukushima, together with Hyogo Prefecture, topped the list of Gold Prizes by prefecture.
Fukushima has been the prefecture to win the most Gold Prizes for six consecutive years, marking a record since 1956 when records were first kept. It was also a product of Fukushima, the Okunomatsu Adatara Ginjo 2017 made by Okunomatsu Sake Brewery, a venerable sake manufacturer established in 1716, that was selected as the winner of the Champion Sake Award in the International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2018, out of a record number of 1,639 candidates in the sake category.
The Okunomatsu Adatara Ginjo, comprising a clean, fresh and balanced taste that has been highly evaluated internationally, will be served at the Japan Night event.
The brewery stands on the premises of about 12,000 square meters, almost as large as a baseball field, at the foot of Mount Adatara. Its sake is made using the mountain’s fresh subsoil water.
Five other sake brands to be served at the Japan Night include the Gold Ninki Junmai Daiginjo by Ninki Shuzo; Momo no Namida by Yamatogawa Brewery; Sparkling Toyokuni by Toyokuni Brewery; Issho Seishun Bessen Daiginjo by Akebono Brewery; and Aizu-miyaizumi Junmaishu by Miyaizumi-meijo.
The Gold Ninki Junmai Daiginjo has already gained international recognition after being served at the Nobel NightCap 2012, the final festivity of the Nobel Week organized by students. Ninkishuzo, located in Fukushima’s city of Nihonmatsu, takes pride in making sake through the traditional method of using wooden tools and Japanese-style pots. The local rice they use is well-suited for making sake because of the wide range of temperatures.
Momo no Namida (tears of a peach) is a liqueur made of locally produced peach juice and sake.
Fukushima is one of the major peach-producing areas in Japan. Peach orchards that were not able to deliver their peaches to customers across Japan in the spring of 2011 after the nuclear incident following the Great East Japan Earthquake inspired the liqueur, which overflows with a fresh peach scent.
Sparkling Toyokuni is the only sparkling sake to be served at the event. Taking a bronze medal at the 2017 IWC, its bubbly fruitiness is perfect for toasting. Toyokuni Brewery, established in 1862 in the town of Aizubange in the central part of Fukushima, sticks to the traditional funashibori (slow pressing) method without using a compressor.
Issho Seishun Bessen Daiginjo is one of the brands that won last year’s Gold Prize at the Annual Japan Sake Awards. With a name that can be translated as “youth for life,” it presents a light and fresh sweetness with a pleasant aroma.
Aizu-miyaizumi Junmaishu took first prize among the 456 entries of the Junmaishu category in the Sake Competition 2018, another large-scale sake competition that started in 2012. Junmaishu refers to a kind of sake made only with rice, rice koji (malted rice) and water with no added alcohol. It is often favored by sake lovers who enjoy the scent and taste of rice in their sake.

January 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

WATCH OUT: Japan is pushing exports of its Fukushima ‘s radiation contaminated sake to other countries

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Free Fukushima “sake” tasting events in NYC.

Japan’s No.1 Sake Fukushima
Experience the best sake in Japan, without leaving NYC!!
Most Gold Prizes 6 years in a row in the century-old Japan Sake Awards. “Champion Sake” in 2015 and 2018 at the International Wine Challenge. Unmatched craftsmanship and the finest taste. While famous in Japan, Fukushima sake has remained a mystery to the outside world—until now!
Enjoy a FREE tasting session of premium Fukushima sake with us. Tasting session participants will receive a 20% discount for Fukushima sake purchased during event hours (while supplies last).
More Free Sake Tasting Events
Japan’s No.1 Fukushima’s Sake for Holiday Gift–Free Tasting
Dec 7, 2018 5:00 PM
Japan’s No.1 Fukushima’s Sake for Valentine’s Day–Free Tasting
Feb 8, 2019 5:00 PM
Fukushima Trade Promotion Council
Organizer of Japan’s No.1 Fukushima SAKE –Free Tasting
USA Inquiries
Attn: Aya Ota
Office: 103 Second Avenue, Suite 2D New York, NY 10003 USA
According to the following article (of Dec. 2017), “the United States topped the list of export destinations (of Fukushima sake) with 76.9 kl, accounting for 48% of the total, followed by Canada with 10.6 kl (7%) and Hong Kong with 9.4 kl (6%).”

October 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | 1 Comment

How about a bit of Fukushima sake?


Cups of sake are distributed to visitors at a tourism facility in Fukushima on May 18, after Fukushima Prefecture won the most awards at the Annual Japan Sake Awards.

Nuclear disaster a ‘springboard’ for Fukushima sake brewers

FUKUSHIMA–After a change in preference among the nation’s imbibers, Fukushima Prefecture rapidly gained ground as the top sake-producing area in Japan.

And then the nuclear disaster struck in March 2011.

But the triple meltdown that forced entire towns to flee and scared consumers off Fukushima products ended up fueling the rise of sake brewers in the prefecture.

Using its traditional system of public-private cooperation, Fukushima Prefecture not only took over the sake-brewing crown from Niigata Prefecture, the northeastern prefecture has also widened its lead.

Any sympathy that sake brewers had for their Fukushima rivals after the nuclear disaster has now been replaced by competitive words in the field.

Inokichi Shinjo, 65, chairman of the Fukushima Prefecture Sake Brewers Cooperative, could not hide his delight on May 18 while seeing the results of the Annual Japan Sake Awards.

This achievement will help establish Fukushima’s reputation as the best sake-producing area in the country,” Shinjo said.

In the contest, in which the quality of young sake is judged, 18 products from Fukushima Prefecture were among the 227 brands that won the gold prize for having exceptionally good quality.

It was the fourth straight year for Fukushima to be the top prefecture in terms of number of gold prize-winning products in the competition.

The Annual Japan Sake Awards started in the Meiji Era (1868-1912), and sake from Hiroshima and Hyogo prefectures, as well as other traditional sake-producing areas, dominated the competition until the 1980s.

In the 1990s, more consumers turned to “tanrei karakuchi” (clean and dry) sake. Niigata Prefecture, known for its tanrei karakuchi products, placed first for four consecutive years starting in 1998.

Most of the sake entered in the contest are specially brewed for the occasion. But Fukushima Prefecture has overwhelmed Niigata Prefecture in the Sake Competition, where commercially available sake are evaluated.

Last year, 20 breweries in Fukushima Prefecture entered the Sake Competition.

The prefecture topped the list, with 18 brands from Fukushima, including Aizu Chujo, Nagurayama, Sharaku, Aizu Homare and Hiroki, among the 103 products selected as winners. None of the products from the 13 breweries from Niigata Prefecture were chosen.


Fukushima-brewed sake rose in popularity after drinkers switched to “hojun amakuchi” (mellow and sweet) sake, noted for a natural flavor of rice, from tanrei karakuchi.

The turning point came in 1994, when the Juyondai sake brewed in Yamagata Prefecture, north of Fukushima Prefecture, was marketed and introduced in a magazine. The sake immediately won high praise, and prompted many brewers to produce hojun amakuchi sake, particularly in other parts of the Tohoku region.

The “Fukushima-style” system, in which citizens and public officials work together, was established to improve the quality of sake through the effective use of advanced brewing technologies.

The characteristics of rice for sake change each year, depending on the climate.

Under the system, the Aizu-Wakamatsu technical assistance office of the prefecture-run Fukushima Technology Center analyzes the year’s rice in advance and advises each brewer on the best way to produce sake.

The mechanism enabled breweries to produce high quality sake unlike in the past,” said Kenji Suzuki, 54, head of the office’s brewing and food division.

Kenji Hiroki, 49, president of the Hiroki Shuzo Honten brewing company in Aizu-Bange, which makes Hiroki, one of the most famous sake brands in Fukushima Prefecture, said the system has also helped to prevent a trend that has hampered other traditional businesses: a lack of successors.

Young people in their 20s and 30s have returned to local breweries to take over their parents’ businesses,” Hiroki said.

He also noted that many sake products brewed in Fukushima used to be traded at very low prices.

The trend encouraged brewers to share their techniques to improve their circumstances together,” Hiroki said. “Even the (2011) nuclear crisis worked as a springboard for us.”


After the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, companies in the prefecture had difficulty selling products because of persistent fears of radiation contamination.

The prefecture’s sake brewers cooperative has been emphasizing the safety of Fukushima-made sake, saying “both rice for sake and water are carefully examined according to strict standards.”

Such thorough checks also helped to ensure the rice and water were top quality.

Noted Fukushima breweries started joint advertising campaigns to sell their products in Tokyo. The publicity not only helped to increase sales but also spread the word about high quality of Fukushima Prefecture’s sake.

Rivals in other parts of Japan have been inspired by the efforts of Fukushima sake makers.

Brewers from Fukushima Prefecture always point out each other’s problems when they meet, and it provides me with a good stimulus,” said Tadayoshi Onishi, 41, president of the Kiyasho Shuzo brewery in Mie Prefecture, which produces the popular Jikon brand.

Although sake production has generally declined around Japan, Fukushima brewers’ production is 10 percent higher than the level before the nuclear accident.

Shuichi Mizuma, 66, representative director of the Niigata Sake Brewers Association, expressed confidence that his prefecture would reclaim the title of “the kingdom of sake.”

The tide often changes,” he said.

Koichi Hasegawa, 60, president of Hasegawasaketen Inc., a major sake retailer in Tokyo, said Fukushima Prefecture’s top position is not secure.

People will soon be fed up with hojun amakuchi sake,” he said. “Shochu recently made waves as well. And Japanese consumers are frighteningly swayed by the latest trends.”

fukushima pride.jpg

July 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment