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History




@It is not exactly known just when people began making sake in Japan. However, it is believed that sake made from rice was already being made in the Yayoi period (300 BC - 250 AD) when rice cultivation was brought from China to Japan. It was during the last half of the Nara period (710-794) that the methods of rice growing became stable. A special organization called Sake-no-Tsukasa was established to produce sake for the Imperial Court. During the Heian period (794-1185), sake was made in temples and shrines, as well as among the people. Sake breweries appeared in the Muromachi period (1333- 1573). Because of this, the Muromachi Shogunate started charging taxes on sake production, as a source of revenue for the government. In the last half of the 16th century, people started to polish the rice grains for sake making, and to press the main mash to separate the sake. A heat sterilization (pasteurization) process called hi-ire was also invented during that period. By this time, the technology to make large wooden buckets had been developed, which enable them to make and store a large volume of sake at one time.

@Manufacturing sake became a thriving industry during the Edo period (1603-1868). During that period, they devised a technique to add distilled alcohol to sake in order to adjust the flavor and preserve it from deterioration.

@In 1904, the National Research Institute of Brewing was established in the Ministry of Finance. It is a unique national research institute for alcoholic beverages in Japan that conducts scientific research on sake making and develops new technology and techniques for sake making.

@From ancient times, sake was regarded as a special beverage made from precious rice. People drank sake on special occasions, such as festivals, marriages, and funerals. Now, we can enjoy sake any day as a tool for communication among people.




National Research Institute of Brewing