What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Kosher sake pours into Japan


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Reaction score
This is an interesting piece on a Gifu-based sake brewery that produces kosher sake. Actually, there are several Japanese breweries that have the kosher certificate.

Sugihara is a lesser-known hero of World War II, but in 2018, his hometown of Yaotsu-cho in Japan's Gifu prefecture opened Chiune Sugihara Memorial Hall, a museum that serves as an increasingly popular stopping point for Jewish visitors, particularly Israelis, travelling the "Chiune Route," which includes the bustling town of Takayama, where I maintained a staunch down-the-hatch policy toward sake. Recently, Israeli visitors have totalled more than 10,000 annually, compared to fewer than 3,000 in 2013, and overall, the number of foreign travellers to the prefecture has grown eight-fold in the past decade. In an effort to accommodate Jewish travellers and honour Sugihara, kosher sake has emerged as a local speciality. [...]

Back in 2017, Arisu had noticed that Jewish visitors were increasingly visiting Gifu to explore Sugihara's legacy, so he decided to do some research – out of curiosity and a desire to cater to them. He comes from a hospitality background – his mother, Eriko Arisu runs Honjin Kiranoya Kachoan, a ryokan, where she makes sure to keep Hebrew-language maps of the city – and wanted to ensure everyone was comfortable. If 10,000 Jewish visitors were coming to his region annually, he wanted to guarantee they'd be able to enjoy sake, a staple in Japanese culture. He heard tell that Asahi Shuzo, a sake brewery in Western Japan's Yamaguchi prefecture, had received a kosher certification in 2010 for its Dassai sake after the local Jewish community connected the company with Chief Rabbi of Japan Binyomin Y. Edery, who also heads Japan's Hassidic Chabad Lubavitch movement and directs Kosher Japan, the organization with the authority in the country to make kosher designations on food and drink.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/kosher-sake-pours-into-japan/ar-BB1bQKAL

Here's an interview with the author of the article above, Chief Rabbi Edery:

Top Bottom