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Museum of Osaka University 10th Anniversary Symposium: "The Story of Sake Brewing in the Kansai Region"

2012-10-27 (Sat) - 2013-1-19 (Sat)

The Story of Sake Brewing in the Kansai Region
"Osaka Technical High School's Brewery Department -- the Historical Lineage of Pioneering and Innovation"

Sake has added color to interpersonal relationships since ancient times. From solemn Shito rituals, to ceremonies, to drinking parties, this fascinating liquid has played the role of lubricant in society and also been the cause of comic and tragic incidents.
As was the case for Emperor Godaigo who held parties allowing abandonment of normal social formalities in order to have private consultations regarding overthrowing the shogunate, sake has played a part in critical times.
In the history of sake in the Japanese archipelago, the Kansai region and Osaka University have played an important role in the development of sake production and technology. They have also exerted a great influence on society and culture. Sake in the Kansai region has traditionally been pioneering and innovative.

The cities of Itami and Ikeda succeeded in the mass production of refined sake and sake enjoyed great popularity in Edo. Behind its economic prosperity, Ikeda attracted persons such as Goshun (1752-1811), a painter of Shijo School, who took delight in refined pursuits such as poetry, literature, painting and calligraphy.
At the end of the Edo Period, Nada sake, that pioneered methods for sake preparation in the cold season, dominated the Edo market thanks to high-quality water in the Kansai. In the modern era as Western culture surged into Japan, the Kansai took the initiative in producing and diffusing Western alcoholic beverages. The first Japanese large-scale beer brewery (the current Asahi Brewery Suita) was completed in Suita village in 1891.
Kotobukiya Limited (the current Suntory Holdings Limited) made wine a blockbuster through its daring advertisements from the late Meiji to Taisho eras and succeeded in domestic production of whiskey in Yamazaki, Shimamoto-cho, in 1929.

In Settsu, Osaka, Osaka Technical High School (the predecessor of the Graduate School of Engineering) was founded in 1896 with a brewery department, the first in Japan. Osaka Technical High School accepted the children of sake breweries from all over Japan and produced many great brewers. These include KAWACHI Gen-ichiro (1883-1948) who discovered white-koji bacterium and drastically improved the quality of "shochu," a traditional Japanese distilled spirit, HANAOKA Masatsune (1883-1953) who made Akita famous for "ginjoshu," high-quality sake, and TAKETSURU Masataka (1894-1979), the founder of Nikka Whisky, who introduced the brewing method of Scotish whisky. Thus, the Osaka Technical School produced many persons who contributed to the modernization of the brewing industry.
Furthermore, SAJI Keizo (1919-99), a graduate from School of Science, Osaka Imperial University, and former chairperson of Suntory Holding Limited, achieved remarkable results not only in the brewery industry, but also in cultural programs.
In this exhibition, the Japanese leaders of brewing, their achievements in technology, society, and culture in the Kansai region and of Osaka University, will be introduced through a variety of materials on display.

This multidisciplinary exhibition commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Museum of Osaka University.

Dates for the display: Saturday, October 27, 2012 ~ Saturday, January 19, 2013
The museum is closed on: Sundays, national holidays, during the Year-End and New Year's holidays (December 29 ~ January 3). However, it will be open on Saturday and national holiday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.
There is no entrance fee.

Events related to the exhibition

Museum lectures

Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Space is limited to 60.
No reservation is necessary.
The doors open 30 minutes before each lecture starts.

  • 45th Seminar -- Saturday, December 8, "Medicinal Liquor in Japan," MORI Ryuji, Special adviser, Nitto Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.
  • 46th Seminar -- Saturday, December 15, "Engineers in the Modern Age who supported Japanese Sake," MIZOGUCHI Haruhiko, Director, General Research Laboratory, Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Co.
  • 47th Seminar -- Saturday, January 12, 2013, "The Mithology of the Birth of Japanese Whiskey," TAKEUCHI Yoshiyuki, Associate professor, Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University
  • 48th Seminar -- Saturday, January 19, "The Muromachi Era on the Fuddle," MATSUNAGA Kazuhiro, Assistant professor, The Museum of Osaka University, Osaka University


Time: from 5:00 p.m.
Sake tasting is included in the workshops. Registration is required. Space is limited to 30.
Intended for persons aged 20 and older.
For more information, view the Museum of Osaka University web site or pamphlet.

  • Saturday, November 3 -- "Charms of Alcoholic Beverages -- Shochu," Hombo Shuzo Co., Ltd.
  • Saturday, November 10 -- "Charms of Alcoholic Beverages -- Whiskey," Suntory Holding Limited
  • Saturday, December 1 -- "Charms of Alcoholic Beverages -- Beer," Asahi Breweries, Ltd.

Special Event to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Museum of Osaka University's Founding

"Love Sake... and be intoxicated with Literature, Art, and Music"

Date & Time: Saturday, November 24, 1:00 - 4:15 p.m.
There is no charge for attending this special event.

Attendance limits:

  • For the lecture: 200
  • For sake tasting: 100 persons aged 20 and older.

For more information, view the Museum of Osaka University website or pamphlet.

  • 1:15 - 2:45 p.m. -- Special lecture,  "Sake in Settsu -- focusing on Ikeda and Goshun," REIZEI Tamehito, Director, Reizei Shiguretei Bunko Library
  • 1:00 ~ 1:15 p.m., 3:15~ 3:45 p.m. -- Performances by the Ancient Imperial Court Music and Dances Group, Yunagi
  • 3:00 ~ 4:45 p.m. -- Sake tasting (Venue: Auditorium & Assembly Hall, Osaka University Hall)
  • Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Co., Nada
  • Akishika Shuzo Co., Ltd., Nose
  • Aramasa Co., Ltd., Akita
  • Kodama Jozo Co. Ltd., Akita
  • Yonetsuru Shuzo Co., Ltd., Yamagata
  • Kidoizumi Shuzo Co. Ltd., Chiba

Sponsored by: The Museum of Osaka University

In cooperation with: Graduate School of Engineering, The Society for Biotechnology, Japan, Kaitokudo for the 21st Century, Shojokai

Date: 2012-10-27 (Sat) - 2013-1-19 (Sat)
Venue: Machikaneyama Shugakukan, The Museum of Osaka University
Registration: Not necessary.
Contact: Machikaneyama Shugakukan, The Museum of Osaka University

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