Episode-24: Zaku Interview w/ President Shinichiro Shimizu

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This week’s episode is exactly what the title says: an interview with Shinichiro Shimizu, the president of Shimizu Seizaburo Shoten, better known as makers of the incredibly popular brand of sake, ZAKU.

Zaku has taken both Japan and the world by storm in recent years, being awarded top accolades in just about every sake competition under the sun, while simultaneously establishing itself as a staple on the drink menus of many casual dining izakaya, as well as appearing regularly on the drink menus of establishments committed to the super high-end of the spectrum. Continually permeating into more and more international markets, this humble brewery of Mie Prefecture is turning into a household name.

Chris and Justin wanted to know how Zaku got to where it was today and understand the ethos driving this brewery that is creating an outstanding place for itself in the sake world on it’s own terms.

You’ll notice immediately that this week’s episode is a bit different. This particular interview was conducted several months back entirely in Japanese. We’ve been sitting on this for a while because it takes a significant amount of resources to transform such content into something that will be useful to the majority of our listeners.

That being said, we think that content of this nature is terribly important. One of our primary goals here at Sake On Air is to help give a voice to the amazing people shaping the future of the sake industry. Arranging, conducting, dubbing and editing in the way that we have this week is one way to go about doing that.

Being an entirely auditory platform, the means through which we can make this sort of content available to our listeners is somewhat limited. We took a first crack at it this week. We know that it isn’t perfect, but we’re proud of it. We also know that we have plenty of room to improve.

Please do let us know what you thought of this week’s episode. Let us know if you enjoy and would like more of this type of content. Or, if you have other ideas or suggestions for how we might make this sort of content accessible to our listeners, please let us know.

While you’re at it, please do take a moment to review the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your regular dose of Sake On Air.

A huge ‘Thank You’ is in order. Mr. Shuso Imada, took on the gargantuan job of being the voice of this week’s interviewee, Mr. Shinichiro Shimizu. We sort of threw him right into the fire and he did a stellar job. Imada-san, arigato!

You can follow Shuso and the rest of the Sake On Air team’s adventures on InstagramFacebook and Twitter via @sakeonair.

Be sure to send your questions and comments to questions@sakeonair.staba.jp

Thanks for tuning in.


Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is a co-production between Export Japan and Potts.K Productions, with audio production by Frank Walter.

Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” is composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.