For more than 150 years since its establishment in 1863, Fujii Shuzo Co., Ltd. has sincerely preserved the corporate motto of “Brewing sake that maintains the delicious flavor of ingredient sake rice.” Yoshifumi Fujii, the fifth-generation proprietor of the brewery, says, “Sake is not a man-made product but a product nurtured by nature.”
Ryusei is one of the brewery’s sake brands, and it won first place in the 1st National Refined Sake Competition, held in 1907.
At the International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2007, the Ryusei,Black Label,Junmai Daiginjo received the prestigious Trophy Award, the highest award, in the junmai ginjo-shu and junmai daiginjo-shu category.
Takehara City, where the brewery is located, is blessed with high quality water suitable for brewing Ryusei ginjo-shu. The ingredients of Ryusei sake include “Yamada Nishiki,” “Omachi,” and “Hattan Nishiki,” all of which are grown by commissioned local rice farmers. As a result of its assiduous devotion to the brewing of high quality junmai-shu and matured sake, the brewery has arrived at the conclusion that a local traditional brewing technique called “kimoto-zukuri” should be employed to achieve deliciously authentic Japanese junmai-shu products.
If brewers compromise to some extent, it may be possible to brew almost the same sake taste every year. In reality, though, exactly the same taste cannot be realized, because sake is a product of nature, and is therefore subject to change. With this in mind, the brewery has willingly put time and labor into achieving deliciously authentic high quality sake, while at the same time taking on new challenges to achieve further growth as a sake brewer.
The principal focus of the brewery is to create “tasty sake that can be enjoyed at mealtimes.” It can be said that Japanese sake is an exceptional alcohol beverage in the world, because drinkers can savor it in many different ways, depending on their choice of taste, and the situation in which it is drunk. One particular sake can be enjoyed at various temperatures. It can be chilled, moderately warmed, or heated. So, how to taste sake depends on your mood, and the food eaten.
The proprietor Fujii says: “Employing the traditional kimoto-zukuri technique in the brewing process, we have been sincerely committed to creating elegantly refined junmai-shu products. We hope that drinkers will savor them as an authentic symbol of Japanese sake culture, sometimes in an elegantly refined glass, or sometimes in elegantly refined clothing.”
The brewery, located in the cityscape preservation district of Takehara City, provides a meeting space for visitors named “Sakagura Koryu-kan” in a corner of its premises. Visitors, strolling through the district, which is comprised of traditional residences and historic temples dating back to the late Edo period, can also drop in at the meeting space to feel, in the flesh, the 150-year history and tradition of the brewery, with its massive pillars and roof crossbeams.
Although small in scale, Fujii Shuzo Co., Ltd. is clearly expert in brewing authentic Japanese sake, using local traditional techniques.
Les grands sakes de Hiroshima