You will be ”Jokigen” (in a good mood) when you say ”Delicious” out loud, ”Sakata Shuzo Co., Ltd.”

You will be ”Jokigen” (in a good mood) when you say ”Delicious” out loud,
”Sakata Shuzo Co., Ltd.”

”Jokigen” will make you ”jokigen” (good mood)

Eating something delicious can put you in a good mood. We are all familiar with this experience. The same goes for “sake”. Take a sip of good ”sake”, swallow it, and you will be in a good mood. Sakata Shuzo, Co., Ltd has a “sake” branded ”Jokigen” (phonetically the same as the Japanese word for good mood). It’s a famous brand and the name is known to many. It is an excellent “sake” with a clear and yet rich taste. The company was founded in 1947 when five “sake” breweries joined together. It sticks to an uncompromising old-fashioned hand process brewing policy. “Jokigen” has won the gold medal in the National Tax Agency Sake Contest five years in a row. Their premium brew is adopted in the menu of Japan Airlines first class.

The most delicious now

We interviewed Shoichi Sato, president, who is known as one of the top brew masters in Yamagata. He says “When you consider the various types of rice that’s available, and the improvements in machinery and technology, ”sake” has never tasted better in history. We can now combine data and intuition to make good “sake”.”

As he says, Sakata Shuzo is taking on a lot of new challenges. For example, experimenting with different kinds of rice. “Perhaps we use the most types of rice among the breweries.” They try various types of rice without sticking to one particular brand. Different types of rice result in different taste. They have experience and knowledge of the characteristics of the rice, and change the brand of rice according to the taste they aim for.
Advancements in mechanical technology includes transportation technology. Sato says advances in couriers and trucking has made it possible for small manufacturers to deal directly with consumers.

Searching for your favorite sake

”I think a lot of people actually like “sake””, said Sato as we tried the ”sake”. “But in fact, people may not know what they really like. A lot of people can’t try many kinds of “sake”.” He said he feels that many people just don’t have the opportunity to discover their favorite “sake” so they stop drinking ”sake”.
While we had discussed the different types of rice that were used, that aside, we found each ”sake” had its own distinct, great taste. The aroma was different, and some have a totally different sensation in the mouth and when the “sake” passes the throat. There was even one that was similar to wine in that you could enjoy the taste as it passes the throat.

In addition, there is carbonated “sake”. Carbonated “sake” is generally made by secondary fermentation of the “sake” and adding CO2 gas in the bottle or in the tank. When he tried a carbonated “sake” made by another brewery, he realized he wouldn’t be able to make a better product. So instead of competing with them head on, he tried to make the best sparkling ”sake” by injecting gas. It usually takes about 30 days for fermentation, so he continued injecting gas for a long period, and let the gas melt into the “sake”, allowing the gas to stay in the “sake” for a long time, enhancing the sparkling sensation. It is sometimes important to switch your thinking to attain good “sake”.
At Sakata Shuzo, they create the ideal ”sake” that brings together the brewers desire to brew good ”sake”, and the consumer’s desire to drink good ”sake”.


2-3-25 Hiyoshicho, Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture