Okunoto, 100 km from Kanazawa, is the birthplace of the Noto Toji, one of the four great toji clans in Japan. The area is well known as a sake production center, and there are 11 sake breweries of various sizes and all long-established. However, all of them were damaged by the Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred on January 1 in 2024 and recorded a maximum intensity of 7 on the Japanese seismic scale, and most of them are unable to produce sake on their own.
Sake breweries outside of the Ishikawa prefecture have begun to offer support for sake brewing in an effort to help the damaged breweries, and calls have been spreading on SNS for support through the consumption of sake from Ishikawa Prefecture.
On January 21, a charity screening of "Ikkon no Keifu" directed by Kaori Ishii was held in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, to support the areas affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake and the earthquake victims.
Ikkon no Keifu" is a documentary film that follows the world of sake brewing in the Noto region over a period of three years, following the two Toji (master brewers) Yukio Sakaguchi and Osamu Ie, who inherit the skills of the "Noto Toji Big Four," and their younger Toji follow in their footsteps.
Coincidentally, the Noto Peninsula earthquake triggered me to watch "Ikkon no Keifu" and learn about the natural environment of Noto and how the skills of the Noto Touji are passed down to the next generation.
Sakaguchi toji apprenticed himself under Shokichi Hase, one of the Big Four of the Noto Toji, and became the toji at Sogen Brewery in 1997. He has been involved in sake brewing for 40 years since he started his career at the age of 15.
Feeling grateful for the daily life, I enjoyed Sogen's unfiltered, unfiltered, pure sake Junmai Omachi (produced in November 2023) with the Noto's specialty, puffer fish roe pickled by koji (malted rice),I had ordered from Aburayo Shoten, as support for a sake brewery that suffered damage by the earthquake.
Sogen Unfiltered N Junmai Omachi
The appearance has a slightly yellowish color, and the aroma is like apricot curd, lychee, walnuts, and rice cakes.
On the palate, it has the same sweetness as the top notes of apricot curd, lychee, walnuts, and rice cake, followed by the tangy dryness of the sake, with a short aftertaste.