Episode-81: Restoring Tradition: Kame Brewing with Yucho Shuzo

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In Part 1 of this special two-part series visiting the producers reviving the lost art of kamejikomi, we spoke with Ken Kojima of Kojima Sohonten, makers of Toko sake in Yamagata Prefecture.

This week we travel to the town of Gose in Nara Prefecture to chat with Chobei Yamamoto who represents 13 generations of sake-making at Yucho Shuzo, best known for their sake brand, Kaze no Mori. Yamamoto-san has not only reinstated the use of traditional kame earthenware pots into brewing, but he’s restored and reconstructed an entirely new brewery committed to traditional brewing practices utilizing kamejikomi.

Having been dormant for the past 100 years, the new Kyoho Kura is dedicated entirely to the new soon-to-be-released Mizuhana brand sake. Mizuhana sake is not only brewed in traditional kame, but is also made in-line with traditional brewing recipes from start to finish. In this episode, Yamamoto-san gives us a bit of background into the role of Nara and the temple brewing that took place there which laid the groundwork for modern sake brewing, communicating why it makes so much sense for Yucho Shuzo to be dedicating the resources it has to these all-but-lost brewing traditions.

You can learn more about Yucho Shuzo and Kaze no Mori here, as well as follow along with their work, their sake, and exploits in brewing and agriculture on Instagram at @kazenomori1719.

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We’ll be back with more Sake on Air next week.
Until then, kampai!

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.