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You can know when you get the first sake by seeing green colored sugi-dama held.

September 17, 2009 5 comments

I have one class volunteer interpreters in Chita peninsula hold now. When tourists from other countries visit Chita peninsula, volunteer interpreters give some help to them while taking a tour. I’d like to join in the activities, however, I don’t know if I’ll be able to manage to do them, so joining in the class, I think I would check if my skills can handle them.

The first topic in the class was sake in Japan, which is one of beverages including alcohol. In English, you might pronounce “sake” like “seik“, however, sake in Japanese is literally pronounced like this; “sake“.

I went to one museum called sake no bunkakan in order to acquire knowledge on sake.

I think using yeast is one of human’s great innovations. sake, tohu, wine, beer, cheese, many things are related to yeast. I, however sadly, don’t know how important for food yeast is and how yeast is related to food. Basically, I defenitely don’t know how to brew sake.

It’s going to be a long story to write “how to brew sake” on this article, so at first, I’ll write instruments and topics I found in sake no bunkakan.

This is a photo of the building of sake no bunkakan.

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You can see something circlar in the middle of the building. This ball is called sugi-dama or saka-bayashi. sugi-dama is made with Japanese cedar. In Nara prefecture, there is one shrine called Oomiwa jinjya, which is one of oldest shrine and enshrines oomono-nushi, who is simbolized as God of sake. In Oomiwa jinjya, people treat Japanese ceder as the tree God dwells, so every entrance of tsukurizakaya(facilities brewing sake, this saka-dama is hung.

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In autumn, the time craftsmen finished brewing sake in that year, saka-dama is replaced with the newer, green-colored one. Like the more the time goes by, the deeper the taste of sake becomes, the color of saka-dama changes its color from green to brown.

Japanese ceder also has preservative capacity, so it is used in many instruments of brewing sake.

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