- 14 Mar 2002
- Reaction score
On 19 April, Izu-based sake brewery Bandai Jozo launched a new sake based on brewing techniques dating back to the early 17th century. Their 'Egawashu' (江川酒) is described as fruity and sweet.
Egawashu was passed down in the Egawa family, a prestigious family dating back to the Heian Period (794-1185). Egawa family members served as daikan local governors in Nirayama, now the city of Izunokuni, Shizuoka, for generations. The drink was named by Hojo Soun, the first head of the later Hojo clan, and enjoyed by many warlords including Oda Nobunaga, according to Takayuki Hashimoto, 68, curator at Egawa Bunko, a foundation that manages the Egawa Residence, a national important cultural property, and the national historical site of the former Nirayama daikan office. Egawashu was even served at a massive cherry blossom-viewing party held in Kyoto in 1598 by warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi after he reunified Japan. But the production of Egawashu stopped in 1698 with the daikan system reforms. The long-lost drink was revived after Hashimoto discovered in May last year a document listing the production steps for Egawashu among more than 100,000 historical materials at the Egawa Residence. He spent some three months translating it into modern-day Japanese and brought it to Bandai Jozo.
Bandai Jozo brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture has developed Egawashu, a fruity and sweet sake beloved by warlords of days gone by.