Japanese spirits like shochu aren’t that well-known in Western countries. But when you develop a taste for shochu, it’s easy to disappear down the rabbit hole and drinking the spirit has inspired the creation of a spirit for my horror world of The Frontier.
No matter where you come from on The Frontier, alcohol is the great equaliser, playing a vital role in religion, politics and everyday life. The same goes for the kamuni, who use alcohol as a way to be closer to their beliefs, celebrate and mark important milestones.
A popular drink within kamuni culture is burash, a type of spirit that can be made from several ingredients and has a huge range of flavour profiles.
The drinking traditions of different cultures is fascinating and Japanese sake is one of the most unique beverages on the planet. I enjoy drinking it so much that it inspired the creation of a fantastical drink that fits into the world of The Frontier, a horror western universe inhabited by monsters and gunslingers.
Tinek is the spirtual drink of the kamuni and you can learn more about it here.
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.
Japanese culture has had a big impact on me. Hell, it inspired the creation of Yamato Magazine and it’s been influential in crafting a world in which I’ve been able to publish my debut novella AT THE DEAD OF DUSK. Set within a dark western world called The Frontier, the novella follows an infamous witch hunter transporting a young woman across dangerous terrain.
When creating The Frontier, I dipped into my love of Japanese culture and created a group of people called kamuni. Much of the kamuni’s history has been inspired by the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan who have their origins in Hokkaido. Read on to discover more about the kamuni.