Flights Of Fantasy examines the drinking habits of characters from fantasy and horror fiction and in this edition the spotlight is on Itsano from Tales Of The Frontier. A kamuni battle conductor, healer and warrior, Itsano would have a great love for sake because it has similar characteristics to tinek, the drink of his people.
Let’s take a closer look at the kind of nihonshu Itsano would drink.
Okuhida Junmai Nigori
Brewed by Okuhida Shuzo in Gifu Prefecture, this junmai nigori (cloudy) sake would be an ideal drink for Itsano. With notes of oatmeal and cream, it would remind him of some of the food of his youth and the produce that his clan traded with frontiersmen. The rich, bitter qualities also mirror the consistency of kamuni tinek.
The Okuhida brewery has a proud history that dates back to 1720 and is located in Kanayama. Okuhida is well-known for using local Hida Homare rice to brew its sake and Itsano would have great respect for the traditions of sake brewers.
Kaho Genshu Junmai
Another type of sake that Itsano would go for is Kaho Genshu Junmai from Kanpai Brewery. The first reason is because the man knows how to drink the strong stuff and genshu sake is undiluted. Secondly, the rich, earthy texture would appeal to his taste buds.
Thirdly, the story behind Kaho is a story that would speak to him. In Japanese, kaho means heirloom, which refers to the heirloom Omachi rice used to create the drink. It’s about honouring traditions that have lasted for centuries and Itsano would be reminded of his own people through this sake.
Miyasaka Yawaraka Sake Matinee Junmai
In line with his enjoyment of added alcohol style sake, Itsano would finish off his flights with a sweet variety. A good choice is Miyasaka Yawaraka junmai from the Miyasaka brewery in Nagano Prefecture.
Fruity and vivacious, this nihonshu tastes of wild plums and oranges. For Itsano, it would be like tasting nature itself and bring him closer to communicating with the daiku (spirits) that inhabit the world.
You can follow the exploits of Itsano and his comrade Clay McNab in AT THE DEAD OF DUSK. A horror western, the novella focuses on themes of monsters, duty, alienation and family. Buy the novella here and here.