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Showing posts from April, 2012

Sake Tasting 2012.4.29

The significance for me attending this particular sake tasting event was to offer my well wishes in person  to Mr. Daisuke Suzuki of Iwaki Kotobuki, and for him not giving up on sake.   Last year his family brewery was completely destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami which  left him with nothing but the yeast strain sample that had been used to create his family sake.     Struggling over whether it was worth it to continue, he almost gave up  until the local community got behind him and offered him emotional support,  and now he is finally rebuilding and selling again.     I did a write up here a few weeks ago.     On that link is a list of where his sake can be purchased also.     He was incredibly popular so I only had a few words with him and he poured me some of his speciality stash.   Amazing guy and very warm, friendly and approachable.  


Here's the layout:    

The center table had over 2 dozen different sake you could pour freely and as much as you liked.     There were …

Abekan Sake Brewery Inc.

I would like to express my relief today as I was assured by this beautiful matron Jukujo in the photo that one of my favorite shuzoten ( sake breweries ) was not affected by the 3-11 disaster in Miyagi Prefecture.   








Abekan Shuzoten


The brewery is a corporation, in other words,  it has stockholders and its own legal status. It pays its own taxes.   It's also one of the oldest and most prestigious breweries in Miyagi Prefecture.   




The day I visited, the sugidama (cedar ball) was a beautiful brown color - brown means  the sake has aged  well enough for drinking.   When the cedar ball is green, late fall early winter, means the sake is still fresh and young.











The two rice grains you see in the picture are Kame no O and Sasanishiki.    Kame no O is a more robust and flavorsome rice that's more commonly used in sake brewing whereas the Sasanishi is typically a table rice used for sushi.   SOME brewers blend rice to produce certain textures in sake - yes, some sasanishiki is used also, …

Rainy Days

How do you spend them?  



Living in Japan has given me a greater appreciation for all kinds of weather, even rainy days which I used to loathe when I was in the States, now I love.    But how about global warming and how that's affecting weather patterns all over the world?   Here in Japan we are all feeling it, unlike in some parts of North America where many have enjoyed unseasonably  warm winters.  We here in Japan are dealing with an unseasonably rainy and cold spring, and our cherry blossoms are feeling it too.   Meteorologist have had to face challenges over when and where the best time is to view the blossoms.  




I was supposed to be heading up to the third most beautiful sakura viewing spots in Japan,  Takada Park in Niigata Prefecture,  for cherry blossom viewing, but had to struggle just to keep up-to-date on the weather forecast.  My new Niigata Jukujo nurse was up there expecting me after work, but couldn't give me an accurate prediction on the weather, so I used s…

Tohoku Volunteerism: Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy Theory

 White refugees , Japanese Nuclear Refugees , Missionary invasions.

"Where there's a need in the world, I will go!"   "The people of Japan need me!"  " We quit our job, sold our dog, and now we are on our merry little way to help the poor little Japanese !"   "We need to round up the animals, too" America is no longer my home because we have a black president.  I am stateless and need an escape.  Voices from the volunteers....    


Me, so what are your long term intentions?  Them, " well, we are going to live here permanently.   Japan needs us.   I need to stay here and help them, even though I cannot speak the local language and in spite of there being an enormous need in my own  country"   I'm just going to rummage around where they need me.   I have no intentions of ever going back to my country.   I love Japan so much.  Maybe I can teach English, or get by with donations....I have a small savings, but it'…

Koshi no Tsuru: cross over crane

Polished off another fine Niigata rice brew last weekend, but didn't get around to categorizing it yet, so here it goes.   The one thing I want to note about this sake is that it was made using one of the oldest  methods in brewing called  Kanzukuri, which is a way brewers use cold winter temps to enhance yeast during the sake brewing process.   In addition, kanzukuri is inherently a winter brew and  was and is still brewed during winter.     However, technology has enabled brewers to brew year - round, and therefore rendering this archaic method obsolete.     Of course, I love the old method best and I love the complexity and smoothness you get from kanzukuri style sake.    As I have mentioned before, when you are in Japan you need to look for these local jizake that you can only purchase here in Japan.    Winter brewed sake made with very old and traditional methods  are becoming rare and hard to get because of the growing lack of skilled brewers....i.e. younger kurabito who ar…

Black Theory: blackitivity

Theme music for this post:  Sanctuary / Constance Demby / Sanctum Sanctuorum


.....INHALE.....  BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL, BLACK IS POWERFUL, BLACK IS BOLD, BLACK IS AUTHORITATIVE,  BLACK IS CLASSY, BLACK IS THE STRONG ICY COLD DARTH VADOR DEATH GRIP; CLINCHED FIST TELEPATHY.  BLACK WRAPPED TIGHTLY AROUND  CREAMY TOFU COMPLEXIONED TAUT SKIN; SMOOTH COMPLEXITY.   BLACK IS  THE UNIVERSE  SPRINKLED WITH STARDUST IN THE FORM OF PLANETARY BODIES.   PITCH BLACK, EBONY BLACK, JET BLACK, ONYX BLACK, SOOTY BLACK, BLACK.  BLACKNESS.  BLACK IS NOT A COLOR, IT IS BLACK, IT IS INFINITY, IT IS BOUNDLESS, YET BOUNDED BUT ETERNAL....EXHALE......



The allure of black is powerful yet intriguing.  It is that way because it's not a color, yet we identify it as such for practical purposes.    It is the great non-color of all things.   The omni-non-colour.

"Technically black is what your brain perceives when there is a total absence of reflected light. However when painting, artists often create th…

Rage Against the Prudes

So the irony is is that though we tout anorexic standards of beauty, we are the most obese nation on the face of the planet!   America ( clearing my throat).   Japan touts the same, but for the most part practices what it preaches.   Anorexia" is" what it sells here, and then some.    There's no shortage of that, but I say " enough is enough!"     Lovers of thick "pyknic" asian women must unite.   But before that we must know our enemies and the neo-femi-political structure they have created to shame the naked beauty of the female body.  Of course runway models  are fully clothed and starving, yet the femi-agenda doesn't stand up against this, or at least not nearly as much as they do when they're lashing out at us lovers of the flesh because in their eyes its ' sex discrimination.'    






Feminist generally look down on so-called feminist models too,  even if they are not anorexic.   This is because the modeling industry plays into the pa…