Episode-55: Fushimi Sake with Ayuko Yamaguchi

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Anyone who has heard of a little country by the name of “Japan” has probably heard of “Kyoto”. Anyone who has sat through a formal sake education program has probably heard of “Fushimi”, the small region of Kyoto often touted as one of the historically defining regions of the entire category. Nine times out of ten, when referring to Kyoto in the context of sake, that person is probably commenting on the historical role and influence of Fushimi in some form or another.

Here at Sake On Air we’ve yet to dedicate an entire episode to any specific sake-producing region: until now.

While we could have started with any one of hundreds of the unique and fascination regions across Japan, kicking off this new experiment with Fushimi came about for two reasons. The first, it’s a region that gets emphasized more than just about any other (aside from maybe Nada, in Hyogo Prefecture), but also seems to get glossed over rather quickly. The region’s “significance” is praised, but the examination into what that significance is often leaves a bit to be desired.

The second reason is that we were able to connect with a well-qualified individual that was up to the challenge. This week we welcome a very special guest, sake educator, writer and researcher, Ayuko Yamaguchi. Being a resident of Kyoto, Ms. Yamaguchi’s commitment to doubling-down on the sake stories close-to-home has led her on an endless journey scouring Fushimi’s contributions to the world of sake, both historically, as well as in the present.

Joined by Christopher Hughes, Sebastien Lemoine, and Justin Potts, this week the team takes a deep dive into what’s largely considered to be one of the industry’s most influential sake-producing regions and ask the question: Does it live up to the hype?

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We that hope everyone’s 2021 is off to a sake and shochu-fueled happy and healthy start. Japan is still under a State of Emergency as of the recording and release of this episode, which means that we’ll be continuing to conduct our recordings at a distance, with “on the road” updates kept to a minimum. That being said, we’re going to continue to do what we can to keep all of our listeners updated and in-the-loop. If there’s a topic you’re keen to hear us explore amidst the current climate, do let us know. While we can’t make any promises, we like to do what we can to deliver.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for choosing sake and shochu.

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” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.