Episode-01: Okawari: U.S. Love of Nigori with “The Sake Ninja”

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In an ideal world we’d bring you listeners a brand-new episode each and every week. While we can’t see that happening in the immediate future, in the process of creating or preparing for many of our episodes we end up with a lot of fun and insightful conversations that sadly just don’t make it into a final episode.

Whether it be interviews conducted in attempt to broaden our perspective and gain further insight into a specific topic before attempting to tackle it, or an unanticipated tangent during a regular recording that we just can’t bring ourselves to carve up, but also can’t force into the overall show structure, we’ve continued to amass quite a bit of material that we would love to share with our listeners at some point and in some capacity.

That’s what we’re testing the waters with this week, in our first (but hopefully not last) episode of “Okawari”.

In Japanese, the term okawari refers to ordering “another round”. Essentially, if you’re asking for okawari, you want to keep the party going. That’s what we hope this week’s show (and future okawari installments) can bring to the table.

As part of the process of examining the world of Nigori Sake for episode 60, we thought it would be interesting to get a bit of insight into the U.S. market’s unique attachment to this special style. In order to do that, we called up sake expert, certified Sake Samurai, and self-declared Sake Ninja, Chris Johnson, to share with us the evolution and status of the style in the U.S.

One thing for sure is that we’ll be coaxing the Sake Ninja to reappear in future episodes, as there are dozens of topics that we’d love to pick his brain on, and he deserves a feature all his own. That’s one of the reasons we’re giving this week’s conversation okawari status. Our chat with Chris is both great supportive material for our previous episode, while providing more than enough substance to be fully satisfying as a stand-alone episode in its own right.

We’ve got lots more material in the vault that we could use to pour you all “another round” of your favorite past topics, guests, and even entirely new snippets and insights. Let us know what you think of the concept and we’ll see what we can do to develop the format in the future.

You can send those thoughts to questions@sakeonair.staba.jp or message us via InstagramTwitter, or Facebook. Note that you’ll also help out the show by leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts or on whichever service you rely upon for your podcast needs.

Thanks for supporting us here at Sake On Air. We’ll be back with more sake and shochu-infused goodness in just a couple of weeks.


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.