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Sake Samurai administration team in Japan

Takeshi Sekiya

Takeshi Sekiya

Chairman of Sake Samurai Association
'Horaisen' Sekiya Brewery, Aichi
Takeshi, as a leader of young brewer's association, has a cutting-edge mind in sake making and introduced on the mechanism to pass down the traditions to the future with a harmony between sake and people.

Kenji Ichishima

Kenji Ichishima

Sake Samurai Representative to IWC
'Omon' Ichishima Brewery, Niigata
Kenji is one of the most remarkable brewers in the sake industry. Having grown up in a brewery with a history stretching back more than 200 years, due to the experience he acquired living overseas he leads today's sake industry with fresh and innovative ideas.

Toshie Hiraide

Toshie Hiraide

Sake Samurai Co-ordinator
IWC ambassador
Managing director of Co-op SACH
Toshie is the pioneer and the mastermind of sake promotion who introduced IWC to Sake Samurai. She is on the front line of various sake promotion activities in Japan.

Keisuke Irie

Keisuke Irie

Sake Samurai administration and logistics
Managing director of Spazio Idea
Director of Co-op SACH
With an extensive knowledge of travel and distribution, Keisuke manages the administration and logistics for Sake Samurai overseas. Activities include sake distribution for the Japanese government.

Kohei Osumi

Kohei Osumi

Sake Samurai administration office
Japan Sake & Shochu Maker's Association, Tokyo
As the HQ for Sake Samurai Association, Kohei bases in Tokyo and oversees the operations over IWC and domestic sake activities. Kohei is passionate about supporting Japanese traditional Matsuri events.

Sakurako Tsuchiya

Sakurako Tsuchiya

The Managing Director and fifth generation of the Tsuchiya brewery in Tokyo.
Sakurako is one of the few female kuramotos who is actively enlightening Japanese people with the beauty of sake through her sake courses. Sakurako is in charge of Sake Samurai's official website in Japan.

Sake Samurai Association

c/o The Sake Brewers Association Junior Council
1-1-21 West Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo,
105-0003 Japan

Tel +81 (0) 33501 0101
Email info@sakesamurai.jp
Website www.sakesamurai.jp

The Sake Samurai Association

The Sake Samurai Association was established in 2004 as a junior council for the Japan Sake Brewers Association to protect sake and Japanese traditions at home and to promote them internationally. It has contributed to the increased popularity of sake and Japanese food overseas in recent years.

In ancient times, Japan was known as "the land of abundant reed plains and fresh ears of rice." Water and rice are at the very heart of Japanese culture. Nurtured over a long history in a beautiful land, Japanese sake, made from these simple ingredients, merges timeless wisdom with sophisticated craft.

In the modern era however, social changes pushed sake, together with other traditional cuisine and customs, toward the periphery of Japanese lifestyle. Sake brewers fear that the pride of the Japanese people is being lost from Japan.

Meanwhile, Japanese food and sake have made remarkable inroads overseas, growing in estimation with each passing year. Japanese food and sake convey the beauty of Japanese culture to the world with the wisdom and knowledge of the Japanese people, and the world in turn has appreciated Japan's culture.

Activities

Since 2006 Sake Samurai has awarded annual 'Samurai' titles to individuals for their outstanding contribution to the understanding, appreciation or promotion of sake. The recipients of these titles commit to the upholding of three tenets:

  • Love both sake and the beautiful culture of Japan.
  • Strive to gain a deeper understanding of sake culture and work on behalf of its further development.
  • Spread the word about Japanese sake around the world with pride and passion.

Sake Samurai has also enhanced the international reputation of sake through its association with the International Wine Challenge in London, introducing sake as a category alongside fine wines since 2007.

Sake Samurai Award Recipients

YearNameLocation
2013Mr Daisaku KagokawaJapan
 Mr Yoshikazu HashimuraJapan
  Mr Hisao Nakahigashi Japan
 Ms Etsuko Nakamura Japan
 Mr Soji Hiraide Taiwan
  Mr Andre Bishop Australia
 Mr Chris Johnson USA
 Mr John Frank USA
2012Mr Gitan OtsuruJapan
 Mr Takuro TatsumiJapan
 Mr Ayuchi MomoseHong Kong
 Ms Chizuko Niikawa- Helton United States
 Mr Sylvain HuetFrance
2011Kunio TokuokaJapan
 Ms Yuki AoiJapan
 Ms Satomi OgawaJapan
 Mr Andrew ReedUnited Kingdom
 Mr Ake NordgrenSweden
 Ms Yoshiko Ueno MullerGermany
   
2010Ms Saori kawanoUnited States
 Ms Mariko KiyonagaJapan
 Mr Mamoru SugiyamaJapan
 Mr Keisuke MatsuyamaJapan
 Mr Yuji MatsumotoUnited States
 Mr Ho Leung ChiHong Kong
   
2009Mr Koji TanikawaJapan
 Mr Yoshihiro MurataJapan
 Mr Byoung-Suk YangKorea
 Mr Simon HofstraHolland
 Mr Michael J. Leineweber AIAUnited States
   
2008Mr Yoshihiko OdaJapan
 Mr Kenjiro MonjiJapan
 Mr Tomohiko ShigeyamaJapan
 Mr Takashi TamuraJapan
 Mr Roger Jean Dagorn United States
 Mr Jan van LissumHolland
   
2007Ms Rie SenoJapan
 Mr Eiichi takahashi Japan
 Mr Tetsuya WakudaAustralia
 Mr David Wrigley MWUnited Kingdom
 Mr Timothy SullivanUnited States
   
2006Mr Takeshi UeshibaJapan
 Mr Kenichiro OtakeJapan
 Ms Tokiko TatoJapan
 Mr John GauntnerJapan
 Mr Sam Harrop MWUnited Kingdom
 Mr Beau TimkenUnited States