Yeast Explores History

Modern Times

Old Well “Yeast, what have you been praying?”
Yeast “The thought came to me that Daishichi today is what it is thanks to the efforts of our ancestors and the master brewers.”
Old Well “Yes, we should be grateful. The 8th Generation has passed away, and two master brewers, Katsuji Ito, who 50 years long supported sake brewing under the 8th Generation, and Masakichi Kindaichi, lost their lives in the line of duty. We should never forget that we are here today thanks to their noble work. The 9th generation Seiichi Ohta became head and assumed the name Shichiuemon when he was 55 years of age, in 1982. That was just at the beginning of the local sake (jizake) boom. Holes had appeared in the tedious system of classifying sake by ‘special class,’ ‘first class’ and ‘second class,’ and terms as ginjo and junmai were on everybody's lips. The 9th Generation brought ‘Daishichi Kimoto’ for the first time out in the open. He turned kimoto which until then so to speak had been a secret of the brewery, into Daishichi’s brand, and put it in the limelight. Next came the Heisei period (1989-2018) that brought big changes. The fence between Japan and foreign countries was broken down and both goods and business-people from the whole world rushed to Japan. That meant that Daishichi had to ‘polish its shop curtain.’
Yeast “What do you mean with that?”
Old Well “In the spirit of our ancestors and the 8th Generation, we had to decide what sort of brewery we wanted be – and devote ourselves to that. Of course the 9th Generation pushed on towards the kimoto method. Challenging new ways of sake brewing with kimoto as basis, beginning rice growing by the brewers to have them get better acquainted with the rice, and develop the super-flat rice polishing technique which is the pride of Daishichi. The 9th Generation had a very cautious character and, as the saying goes, ‘knocked on a stone bridge before crossing it.’ But before we could shift to the next age, we had to overcome a big tragedy.”
Yeast “The death of two famous master brewers.”
Old Well “Yes. Immediately after that, in 1997, the 10th Generation became family head at the age of 37. Drawing strength from the tragedy, we all worked very hard. With the new master brewer Takanobu Sato at the core, Daishichi for the first time won the highest prize at the Japan Sake Awards with a junmai daiginjo made with the kimoto method. It was a remarkable achievement that has been registered in the annals of history. But after winning for a second time, we stopped taking part in the Japan Sake Awards. We felt we had to aim for something higher than that. In Japan the drinkers of sake have decreased and it is a difficult time for us, sake brewers. But on the other hand there are more and more people who want high-quality sake. Daishichi must fulfill the wish of those people, precisely because we have inherited the kimoto method from our ancestors. That is also a treasure Japan can be proud of in the world. Daishichi which has inherited this treasure has a special responsibility. Myoka Rangyoku which was brought out in 2003 was so to speak our expression of the determination that we would make sake we could send into the world without feeling ashamed. At the turning point of Daishichi’s 250th anniversary, the 10th Generation built over the next five years a new brewery, and he also compiled the company history which had been his long-cherished ambition. Yeast, from now on you have to do your utmost to face the world.”
Yeast “Great! From now on we’ll fight even harder!”