9 Years On: Tohoku Sake Brewers Reviving with Young Workers

Society Lifestyle

Sendai, Miyagi Pref., March 11 (Jiji Press)--Battered by the March 11, 2011, massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, a total of 110 sake brewing companies continue in business in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima in the Tohoku northeastern Japan region.

Young workers are bringing new life to the regional sake industry, amid a downtrend in sake sales across Japan after post-disaster special purchases aimed at supporting affected areas waned.

After the gigantic tsunami, Akabu Shuzo brewery relocated from the coastal town of Otsuchi in Iwate to the prefectural capital of Morioka, while hiring eight employees in their 20s to 30s who had no experience in sake production.

"Initially, we had many failures," said Ryunosuke Furudate, 27, "toji" chief brewer at the brewery.

Traditionally, women are barred from entering sake breweries. At Akabu Shuzo, however, half of the eight workers are women.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press