Bishonen Sake Brewery
We took over the school building of Suwon Elementary School, which has a history of 130 years, at “Kikuchi” in Kumamoto, Kyushu, and built a new sake brewery. This land called Kikuchi is filled with clear air that is indispensable for sake brewing, rice suitable for making delicious sake, and pure water. In Japanese history and culture, sake has been brewed to serve God. Also, in our lives, we have been drinking alcohol at important milestones in our lives to remember marriage and loved ones, and have raised our sense of companionship. We will work on sake brewing using Kikuchi rice. The rice harvested in Kikuchi is called “Higo rice” and has long been so popular that it has a special price along with Kaga rice. The reason why Kikuchi’s rice is delicious is that the soil-grown in the Kikuchi River and its tributaries is fertile, and especially in the Nanagi area, the area around our sake brewery is famous for rice.
Representative: Keiichiro Sendo
Address: Medowara 1030, Shichobun, Kikuchi, Kumamoto-ken
Foundation (year) 1752
Visit Bishonen Brewery Website
Kumamoto Sake Breweries
Kumamoto Prefecture is located on the island of Kyushu. It borders Fukuoka Prefecture to the north, Oita Prefecture to the northeast, Miyazaki Prefecture to the southeast and Kagoshima Prefecture to the south. The mountains of Kyushu and Aso, with its immense caldera, act as the sources for the huge reserves of groundwater that bubble up through the Kumamoto earth. It is believed that there are at least 1000 freshwater springs within the borders of Kumamoto Prefecture. Akazake (meaning “red sake”) is a kind of alcohol unique to Kumamoto, a region with both hot summers and cold winters. For hundreds of years, Akazake was the only alcohol allowed in Kumamoto and sake could neither be produced here nor brought in from outside.
Great changes in Japanese society in the second half of the 19th century, like the Meiji Restoration and the Satsuma Rebellion, led to the legalization of alcohols other than Akazake, and brewers in Kumamoto began experimenting with sake. In 1903, a man named Nojiro Kinichi was assigned to work in the Kumamoto Tax Office. Nojiro would go on to be called the “God of Sake” through his work in instructing the breweries throughout the prefecture on brewing techniques and offering advice on improving the quality of sake. He also helped the breweries work even more closely together, leading to the start of the Kumamoto Prefecture Sake Institute in 1909 and its incorporation in 1918 by the breweries of Kumamoto.
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