New sake brew intended for regional revitalization named Kizuna-mai

27 May 2018

A project got under way in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Aizu-bange on May 26 to brew sake from rice produced in all 47 prefectures in Japan. In the “Okoshi-zake (revitalization sake) project,” joined by credit unions across the country, representatives, including executives, from these small financial institutions known as shinkin banks as well as other parties concerned gathered at local brewer Akebono Shuzo Co. and engaged in work to stir steamed rice inside a huge tank in the initial process of brewing.

The new brew has been christened Kizuna-mai (“kizuna” meaning bonds and “mai” dance) with the idea of showing support for areas hit by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster as well as symbolizing regional partnership.

The project has been blueprinted by an executive committee for the “Good Job Creation Fair” comprising partners led by Johnan Shinkin Bank based in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district.

It calls for the production of about 12,000 500-milliliter bottles of the “junmai daiginjo” type of sake made from a blend of various rice varieties collected by shinkin banks across Japan. Sake is made usually from polished rice, malted rice, water and additional brewing alcohol but this “junmai” (pure rice) type has no alcohol added and at least 50% of the rice has to be milled away to qualify as a “daiginjo” type. Rice for the new brew was ground to 47% of its original size, representing the number of prefectures.

■Special aid offered by Fukushima-Minpo daily

The new sake is set to be unveiled at a “Good Job Creation Fair” event on Sept. 19-20 at the Tokyo International Forum complex in Tokyo’s Chiyoda district, kicking off commercial sales. It will be available for 2,200 yen (inclusive of tax) per bottle, with 100 yen intended for donation to disaster-affected areas. Fukushima-Minpo Co., publisher of the namesake local daily, is offering special assistance for the fair.

[Photo] Shinkin bank representatives and other people gather for initial work to brew sake from rice collected from across the country.

(Translated by Kyodo News)