Reflecting the state of society at the time, people's preference gradually
changed to fruity sake rather than dry sake, which was loved in the period from
Meiji through to Taisho. The saying, "people prefer sweeter sake in troubled time".
Japan entered the First World War in Taisho 3 (1914). Rice riot, sparked by the extreme inflation of the price of rice, broke out in Taisho 7 (1918). After the war in Taisho 9 (1920), stock and prices took an intense dive as a reaction to the war-time economic boom. Furthermore, the Great Kanto Earthquake broke out in 1923.
As financial panic and world crisis intensified early in Showa, the military gradually gained power. Manchurian Incident broke out in Showa 6 (1931), followed by the Shanghai Incident in Showa 7 (1932). Japan-China Incident broke out in Showa 12 (1937) and the battle lines expanded to China. Finally, Japan plunged into the Second World War in Showa 16 (1941) and headed straight towards self-destruction.
Consequently, Japan lost the war. Japanese cities were burned to the ground. The food situation grew increasingly serious and ingredient rice was severely restricted. Surely enough, the production of sake dropped sharply. During Showa 20's (1945-1954), the sake brewing industry itself was under extreme pressure.
The situation progressively improved as we entered Showa 30's (1955-1964). Japan entered the high economic growth period. TV broadcasting was started in Showa 30 (1955) and the Tokaido Shinkansen started operation in Showa 34 (1959). As the encouraging news continued, sake gradually started appearing on the market once again. But, during 40's (1965-1974), the quantity was limited and the quality of sake also was not the best.
During this period, the major brewers in Nada and Fushimi concentrated its attentions on increasing its brewing quantity by the year. On the other hand, smaller brewers form the countryside tried steadily to improve the quality of sake. They actively competed in the National Fairs (national fair for the appreciation of sake to be newly introduced onto the market) and accomplished surprisingly positive results.
These efforts were gradually recognized by the people fond of sake and the regional liquor boom heightened during the late 40's through 50's, 60's (1985-1994).
In recent years, sake brewing, a representative of the traditional industry of
Japan, modernized as an industry on a large scale. Making rice malt using
machines which utilizes ancient handmade know-how, as well as, machines which
carries out everything from washing to steaming rice were invented. These were
innovative ways to reduce labor and to raise production
Furthermore, the development, which became the major breakthrough in enhancing the quality of sake, was the automatic rice-polishing machine introduced in Showa 35 (1960). This was developed in the same year as the rice malt making machine. As further progress was made on the computerized automatic control system, we were able to achieve high-level polishing qualities coveted for the use for Ginjoshu brewing.
By polishing the exquisite quality rice, optimizing the efficiency of brewing methods, and using even more advanced sake brewing technique than ever before, we are now producing the best sake in the history of brewing.
Moreover, sake brewers are trying even harder, striving forwards in the quest to brew the ultimate sake.