A year of Sake-SUGIDAMA-
Production of Sake is a yearly basis. Sakeis made from rice harvested in fall, and its production is ended next spring.The winter season, from November to March, is the brewing period. The rest ofthe year, from April to October, is the period to sell Sake and grow rice.
In general, it takes about a month to makeSake. If brewery starts making Sake in November, it will be ready in December.This freshly made sake is called “Shinshu,” and after aging it, it becomesmatured rich sake called “Hiyaoroshi.” There are a variety of other types andgrades of Sake by each brewery, and all types of Sake make our lives delight.
Where Sugidama camefrom?
Sugidamahas a long history. In Nara prefecture, Japan, there is one of the oldestshrines named Omiwa-Shrine which enshrines God of Sake. Back in the time, Sakebrewers from all over Japan visited Omiwa-Shrine, and they brought back cedarleaves from Mt. Miwa which is the divine mountain of the Omiwa-Shrine. Duringthe middle of Edo era, brewers bundled these cedar leaves, made a round shape,and hung it at their entrance. People then started to call it Sugidama, and itbecame a symbol of breweries. Over time, Sugidama became a lucky charm, and wewish for brewing of tasty sake and prosperity of business with Sugidama eventoday.
The relationship between Sake Brewing and Sugidama
As explained, Sake is made a yearly basis.Every year when the new sake season comes, Sugidama is replaced to a new onewith the appreciations and prayers to God of Sake. The replacement date isusually sometime around the end of November when the first Sake of a year ismade. In this season, you can see the replacement of Sugidama in the breweriesall over Japan.Sugidama is made with fresh cedar leaves, and Sugidama artisansbundle them, make a ball shape, and correct its shape by scissors. The color ofa brand new Sugidama is fresh green. That color let Sake fans know the freshSake is now ready, and people passing by a street can enjoy the seasonal charmof winter.
Not only forbreweries, but also for restaurants’ opening receptions and events With itshistory, meaning, and beautiful shape, Sugidama draws attentions from not onlySake breweries but also business owners relating to Sake like restaurants andliquor shops. In the recent years, it has been getting popular for thosebusiness owners or event organizers to hang Sugidama as a decoration and an interioritem. Some restaurants and liquor shops order Sugidama every year to celebratetheir opening reception, 1st anniversary, 2ndanniversary, and so on. Some of those repeated Sugidama owners commented that“Sugidama makes myself brace up for another year.” “Replacing Sugidama everyyear is our pride as a restaurant serving Sake.” “Sugidama makes our customershappy.” For all people relating to Sake like brewers, sellers, and fans,Takabayashi would like to make a good connection between Sake and them throughSugidama.