For the Glory of Sake
Couldn't help but notice the snarky remark the Japanese guy made sitting next to me on my left. " Oh...you like Japanese sake. This is a Japanese drink. I like I like" he chided in Japanese English. He attempted to rest his hand on my balls, but I slapped it away. "No shit, then why are you drinking two fingers Jack-n-Coke" I retorted.
I was requested to come and have a sit and drink lesson by the owner of the bar, who in turn introduced me to this drunk S.O.B. And for a nominal fee I had to grit and bear the sickness of sitting next to a stinky salary man with a Black penis fetish for several hours while appearing like I was having the time of my life. I didn't want to ruin it for my Jukujo matron and patron, so I behaved.
I haven't been to a Japanese shrine in a while, but whenever I go I always pray and thank the Gods for the Japanese Jukujo. I thank them for delivering me from the scourge of silly little she-men who do a dis-service to the gospel of Japanese sake, and you wonder why the younger generation have a negative image of their own national drink. Sake salvationist like myself who stand in the trenches to defend and protect Japanese sake from the sissiphication and the wapanization of Japanese sake, often times go unnoticed. I make too much sense, and so therefore it must be wrong. Same disease of the soul you see in North America.
In order for sake to survive it has to be exported, repackaged, and re-branded overseas before it can have appeal at home again - Japan. It's like this because saketeers and marketers have dropped the ball. They forgot to export the culture of sake along with the sake, unlike in the world of sushi where you have "sushi police" who travel around the world to check that sushi is being properly represented. If you were to juxtapose that with sake, and visit so-called sake bars you would rarely see sake being served in its natural form. Most likely it will be used in cocktails or fruit juice chu-hi, and shots so that the yuppies can appear stuffy and sophisticated with their arm candy in tow, and horrible Japanese pronunciation to boot.
When I set foot on Japanese soil years ago I vowed to fight evils that would destroy the Japanese soul. I am the soul of Japan, not just a soul in Japan and I have a commitment to save what's left of sake's soul and the soul of the nation. In all the years of my travels I have learned from Japanese women, and some men, that sake has its own essence. I used to borrow my friend Japanese wife and stay overnight with her in my room and study the balance of sake and Jukujo. Like watching the drops of sake move down her inner thigh and the deep aromatics from her perspiration blended in with a nice Junmai Dai-Ginjo.
I once did an all nude sake and onsen photo shoot with one of my Niigata mommas (31 y.o) in a private outdoor bath in Gosen, Niigata. Since she was a pro-cyclist and junior olympian swimmer for years she had these well-toned and shapely thighs with creamy white skin that accentuated her beautiful body. A truly and purely Japanese woman, even by conservative Japanese standards. In the backdrop were rolling hills and a lake in the foreground. When I positioned her under the lamp that was next to the edge of the spa with the natural scenery in the background, I had a god moment.
A quick suck on the nipples to make them stand up and the composition was perfect. I took the shot. I had her pour sake down those nipples while I sucked and swallowed the sake off of them. The steam and mist from the hot bath mixed in with the sake created beautiful aromatics in the water. Had her spread them to reveal it and worshipped at the alter of vulva. Enjoyed the smegma and saltines along with the cherry on the nose. This is me, and a far cry from the bar scene in the first paragraph. God, deliver me from the scourge of ridiculous salarymen.
As I have stated previously, for a nominal fee I have been teaching bar owners in Kanagawa on how to serve and explain Japanese sake in English to foreign visitors. They all know never to mix sake or make it into a wapanese drink. Sake should be served in a variety of drinking ware. First, avoid using an ochoko, instead use a kikijoko. Size matters. The only reason you would ever need to use ochoko is when you are measuring your servings. This is so that everyone drinking can have a chance to enjoy the sake. Then, switch to earthenware or stoneware serving cups made from clay - guinomi. Let the customer feel the difference in texture. Another option would be to use a freshly cut pine masu - small wooden box shaped drinking cup usually made of freshly cut wood. The aromatics from the pine and the sake give off a different impression and is very Japanese. Lastly, I recommend using a full bell-shaped wine glass to enjoy the color and deep aromatics of the sake.
Next, we explain the different classes of sake, making sure to properly explain Junmai-shu and Junmai Daiginjo-shu. And, being careful to use words like "pressed" instead of "filtered" when separating lees and the proper milling rates of sake. Lactic acid and yeast and molds and what the differences are, so when customers ask they'll have the answers. One thing I notice with bar owners is that they don't know anything about regionality. When you serve sake you need to explain where the sake came from, who brewed it, and what unique regionality is attached to the sake and the region. For example, Niigata is famous for a type table rice called ko-shi-hi-kari, and then explain the differences between a table rice and a sake rice. Instead, most bar owners serve sake and ask silly questions like "oishi desuka / is it good?" yawn. Or, they just look at you and say stupid shit like " wow, you must be Japanese! Ohh, wow, you are great." Sure, the Japanese are just trying to be polite, but most times they just go overboard and start to sound stupid ass hell.
I am writing this in preparation for sake day on October 1st. The brewing season officially starts on this day. Of course, larger breweries brew all-year-round, but the traditional way has always been October 1st. There are other traditions related to the Kanji that also has significance to sake day, but that's too archaic and maybe not so relevant. Just know it's when all of the great sake festivals start and when brewers start making sake. Look for exciting events all over Japan, especially in Kyoto on October 1st and 2nd.
Let's hope the bar staff gets it right on delivering on sake lore, tradition, and brewing methodology. For the foreign tourist welcome to Autumn. Great brash and lively sake with delicious autumn foods is the best. Expect to meet tons of new poeple and mingle with sake enthusiast from all over the world. October 1st is the like the Mecca for sake in Japan. Expect me to be up in Niigata and around Tohoku savoring the lovely Jukujo and great hot sake. Look for "hiya-oroshi" brewed sake. It's sake that is pasteurized once just after brewing but released in the autumn without the standard second pasteurization - this is the most autumnal of all sake styles. Expect bold crisp and gamey flavors that accentuate autumnal beauty.