Episode-85: A Message from Sake On Air

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Back in October of 2018 when we released the very first episode of Sake On Air, none of us had recorded or produced a podcast before, and there was no precedent for what a podcast about sake and shochu could or should be. At the time, the number resources with quality information about what sake is were both growing and improving – which was fantastic! So instead of retreading that same material, we set out with the goal of “expanding the dialogue around sake and shochu.”

Having a basic understanding of these incredible beverages and the common themes and terminology surrounding them is as important today as it was when we started. But given the geographical home of all of our hosts and our connections throughout the industry here in Japan, we felt that our role wasn’t only to inform our listeners as to what sake and shochu are, but to hopefully convey why it is they’re important and worth caring about. That’s why we emphasized the idea of “dialogue,” because to truly appreciate these magnificent beverages, we felt that engaging with a wide range of questions is equally – if not more – important than the so-called “answers”, and that the opportunity to examine the world of sake and shochu from a range of perspectives and appreciate the different values attributed to their beautiful complexity is what’s truly going to result in more individuals around the globe developing a life-long relationship with sake.  

We’d like to think that we’ve succeeded to certain degree in achieving fraction of that lofty goal that we initially set out for ourselves. We’re certainly proud of what we’ve put out into the world as Sake On Air, but we also recognize that there’s a great deal of work still to be done, as well as plenty of room for improvement to our formula.

Working on the show over the past 3.5 years, as a team we regularly discuss the nature of the work that we feel we ought to be engaging in, not only as a podcast, but as a team. Throughout that time the sake industry has grown significantly, but so has our crew. The lives and professional obligations and directions of each individual here at Sake On Air has morphed and evolved, and Sake On Air needs to not only grow together with our listeners, but also together with our dedicated hosts and production team. Over the years there have been a lot of ideas and ambitions that we’ve been unable to realize for one reason or another, however in order to continue to make the show meaningful, we feel that the show needs to evolve to reflect the growing needs of our listeners, the changes in the industry, and the motivations of our crew.

After a lot of discussing and planning internally, we’ve committed to making that transition, which is why the show will be going on just a brief hiatus.

At the time of this recording we’re unable to announce a specific date upon which the show will return to the airwaves, but rest assured, you won’t have to wait long. When the show does return, you likely won’t notice any big changes immediately. However, in the months that follow, you should start to get a feel for what it is we’re working toward. Up until now we were limited as to the scope and nature of projects that Sake On Air was able to engage in. Moving forward we’ll be able to further commit to offering not only the kind of programming that truly leverages our team’s unique position within the sake industry, but also opens up possibilities for a wider range of projects and partnerships that further utilize the skillsets, knowledge, and resources of our team, hopefully leading to more kinds of meaningful engagement with sake and shochu for more people here in Japan and around the world.

While the show is in downtime we’ll be continuing to share information across our social media channels, so we’d love it if you’d join us at @sakeonair on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. As the relaunch of Sake On Air approaches, we’ll be keeping you informed about what to expect – and when - so be sure to stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to send us your thoughts, ideas, and requests to questions@sakeonair.staba.jp. Let us know what you’ve appreciated from the show up to this point, where you think we can do better, and what you’d like to see from the show in the future. We have plenty of plans and ideas, but our plans mean nothing if they don’t also serve the needs of the people that have made the show possible over the past 3.5 years. Believe me, we’re listening.

Lastly, I just want to say a huge “Thank You” and extend a massive heartfelt “Kampai” to all of you listening out there that have regularly made time for Sake On Air as part of your love for, and exploration of, sake and shochu. Knowing that you’re out there and that our time and energy is contributing to your love of our favorite beverages is hands-down the most rewarding part of what we do.

Thanks again so much for all of your support, and your continued support, of Sake On Air. We’ll be back with more, brand new Sake On Air before you know it.

So stay tuned, and 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.