Nada's Sake: the secret of this rare taste/Skill

Severe competition among breweries and workers made Nada sake most sophisticated

Toji-- builders and conveyers of tradition

A fully modernized control room
Workers at the brewery share their roles under an established hierarchy. At the top sits the Toji, the chief of the brewery workers, equivalent to the manager of a factory. Currently, 7,500 brewery workers, including 1,500 Toji chief brewers, form 24 unions across the nation.

Brewery workers are all called Kurabito, or people working in a kura (brewery). The Toji is assisted by Kashira, who directs other workers and makes sure the work keeps up with daily schedules. Emon is responsible for making malt, while Uwa-Motomawari is in charge of mixing malt and rice, assisted by Shita-Motomawari. Uchi-dogu-mawashi procures and maintains equipment and tools; Soto-dogu-mawashi washes casks and other equipment outside the brewery building; and Kamaya takes care of the fire at the furnace when boiling rice. There are some other workers who do miscellaneous tasks under Kashira instruction.

Tasting the product
Most of the Toji chief brewers in Nada are from the Tamba region of central Hyogo Prefecture. Toji techniques vary from region to region, but it happened that Tamba technique was best-suited to the water of Nada.

Brewery workers relaxed
after an interval of hard work
It requires many years of experience to be acknowledged as a full-fledged sake brewer who can take the post of Toji. The Toji also must be a most trusted individual, because the work of brewing sake requires the cooperation of many people over a long period of time. In other words, once a man becomes Toji, that means the full trust of all brewery workers is put on him, and every worker is under his control throughout the process of making sake.

In recent years, machinery has replaced manual labor at most breweries. Nevertheless, the Toji still has enormous responsibility as the one who determines the taste of the brewery's product, and who passes the traditional skills of sake-brewing down to future generations.

(Nada's Sake: the secret of this rare taste)

C) Nadagogo Brewers Association, 2000,All Rights Reserved.