Women Warriors

Women Warriors: Mochizuki Chiyome

Women Warriors puts the focus on inspirational and legendary Japanese women who’ve left their mark on history. The original female warriors of Japanese culture were the onna-bugeisha and their more secretive cousins, the kunoichi. The latter were female ninjas who earned a fearsome reputation as spies and assassins, striking from the shadows.

All kunoichi traced their history back to the story of Mochizuki Chiyome. The founder of the order, Chiyome is a figure shrouded in mystery and legend.

Continue reading “Women Warriors: Mochizuki Chiyome”

Shochu Reviews

Tatsugo Gold Shochu Review: Silky, Smooth And Mellow

Tatsugo gold is a kokuto shochu produced on Amami Island by the Machida Shuzo brewery.

Since being bitten by the shochu bug, I’ve been on a mission to try as many different types of Japan’s national spirit as possible. From sweet potato to barley, the base ingredients of shochu are as diverse as the breweries that produce such a fine drink.

Brown sugar is another popular ingredient and I recently got my hands on a shochu that falls into this category called Tatsugo gold. Continue reading “Tatsugo Gold Shochu Review: Silky, Smooth And Mellow”

Pop Culture and Japan

Embrace The Awesomeness Of Awamori (Sake On Air Review)

Experiencing a new culture through the lens of food and drink is a great way to connect to a different part of the world without having to hop on a plane. If you ever plan to travel to Okinawa, it’s worth knowing about the island’s indigenous spirit awamori and its importance to local history.

But what exactly is awamori and how does it differ from other Japanese drinks like nihonshu and shochu? Sake On Air recently released an awamori episode that reveals why it’s worth trying this little known spirit. Continue reading “Embrace The Awesomeness Of Awamori (Sake On Air Review)”

Japanese Cuisine

A Rum Revelation: Santa Maria Gold Is A Must-Try Japanese Rum

Santa Maria gold rum is an agricole rum made from sugar cane and produced in Okinawa.

Japan produces some of the most unique spirits in the world, namely shochu and awamori. The production of western spirits such as gin has increased rapidly and it’s also worth keeping an eye out for Japanese rum.

I recently tried my first Japanese rum in the form of Santa Maria gold and found it to be a revelation. Soft and delicate, the Santa Maria gold is unlike any kind of rum I’ve tasted before. Continue reading “A Rum Revelation: Santa Maria Gold Is A Must-Try Japanese Rum”

Poetry

Shokunin

Every morning Jiro wakes at 4AM

And heads to his restaurant in Ginza

His kitchen is a blank canvas

For which he paints his culinary art

Sliced sashimi bursting with sunrise colours

Dipped in the sea green of maki

Temaki rolled with precision

Splashes of nigiri inked into the easel

Completing the masterpiece

For the daily rush hour

Served with pride  

Pop Culture and Japan

How To Start A Sake Brewery Outside Of Japan (Sake On Air Review)

Zenkuro and Melbourne Sake are two breweries outside of Japan that are bringing more awareness to sake.

In Japan, sakagura (sake breweries) carry a rich history of tradition that’s lasted for hundreds of years. It’s little wonder that tradition has inspired people outside of the country to embark on their own sake journeys and set up their own breweries.

There’s definitely a lot of romanticism to the idea. But what’s the reality of trying to set up your own  brewery like? The Sake On Air podcast has the answers. Co-hosts Justin Potts, Marie Nagata, Chris Hughes and Sebastien Lemoine sat down to talk to the founders of two sake breweries to get their thoughts. Continue reading “How To Start A Sake Brewery Outside Of Japan (Sake On Air Review)”