We here at Yoneda Sake Brewery, brewers of the Toyonoaki (“Rich Harvest”) line of sake, take great pride in the sake we make. We carefully choose all of the ingredients that go into it, particularly the rice and water, two items which are of abundance in Shimane. Thus it is also a point of pride that we make our sake using high quality local products. The name of our brewery, Yoneda, is written using the characters for “rice” and “field,” so even our name has a special relationship with the sake we produce.
Sake has a rich history in Izumo, the eastern part of Shimane Prefecture which includes Matsue City, where our brewery is located. Every October 13th at Saka Shrine (which enshrines the god of sake brewing) in the Izumo region, a special festival is held. Sake brewers from all over Japan gather at Saka Shrine to pray that they will be able to brew delicious sake. The name of the shrine comes from a legend written nearly 1300 years ago. According to the legend, gods from all over Japan gathered along a river near where the shrine now stands and brewed sake there, after which they feasted and drank for 180 days. The word used to describe this party is where the name Saka comes from. This legend has led many people to call this area “the birthplace of sake.”
Also, The Kojiki, the oldest historical record in Japan, includes a famous story set in Izumo of a giant serpent called the Yamata-no-Orochi. In it, the hero Susano-no-mikoto tricks the serpent into drinking extremely strong sake to get it drunk, after which he easily defeats it.
As sake brewers in the land that has such a rich history connected to sake, all of the staff here at Yoneda Sake Brewery are dedicated to brewing delicious sake that we can be proud to deliver all over the world. It is also our wish that through our sake, we will be able to introduce the world to the culture of Japanese cuisine.