On the eastern edge of Japan’s central Kansai plane is the heavily wooded prefecture of Mie. Sparsely populated and covered with ancient forests, the region contains some of the oldest and most storied settlements in the country, including the Grand Shrine of Ise dedicated to the Shinto sun goddess considered the ancestor of Japan’s imperial family.
Amid the ancient settlements is the small family brewery Moriki Shuzo, recently known thanks to the unique and distinctive sake of brewmaster and owner Rumiko Moriki. She is the 4th generation of her family to own the brewery, and was the first female toji brewmaster in the country. Assisted by her husband, nearly all work at Moriki Shuzo is done laboriously by hand, including the growing of their own rice using organic methods. They concentrate on sake with elegance, power and unique and bold flavors.