Sake is the heart of Japan. It’s magical, mystical and historically rich. It tells of stories that are thousands of years old and the tireless efforts of master craftsmen brewing fantastic booze. It’s a bridge between worlds, connecting western drinkers with a beverage that opens up a whole new world of drinking opportunities. It’s transformative, always changing, altering perceptions wherever it’s experienced.
Sake is all of these things and more. Brian Ashcraft’s The Japanese Sake Bible does an exceptional job of capturing all the qualities that make nihonshu one of the most diverse and exciting drinks in the world. Chock full of detail from leading sake brewers and poetic tasting notes, The Japanese Sake Bible is perfect for anyone who wants to worship at the altar of nihonshu.
It’s no secret that Japanese whisky has taken the world by storm, regularly fetching high prices at auctions and earning award after award, captivating the hearts and bank accounts of whisky lovers from all walks of life. But this wasn’t always the case.
There was a time not so long ago when Japanese whisky was looked down on as inferior to other whisky varieties like scotch and bourbon. So, what changed? The answers can be found in Brian Ashcraft’s brilliant Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide To The World’s Most Desirable Spirit.
Packed full of insight and history, this is a must-read book for anyone with even a passing interest in whisky and Japanese culture.
The Kokoro Files shines a light on the connection that everyday people have with Japan. For some, the connection inspires them to write and that’s definitely the case for Brian Ashcraft. The author of several Japan related books, which includes Japanese Tattoos, Ashcraft is dedicated to his craft.
As a fan of tattoos, one of my favourite pastimes is discovering new styles. Irezumi, the art of Japanese tattooing, has always been fascinating to me because of its connotations in Japan. Associated with criminality, irezumi is thought be both shocking and taboo. But outside of Japan, the distinctive style has captivated tattoo enthusiasts and that kind of contrast is intriguing.