How I got into sake (日本酒) industry?

Japan has so many great cultures. I am proud to be Japanese and lucky to have chances to expose to this great cultures. Although I was not aware of what we have is so special until I saw what’s out there. This is my story how I got into sake(日本酒) industry, great culture of Japan.

my hometown, Daisen-city in Akita

The first event happened when I was in high school. Study abroad to the United States of America. So my parents were nice enough to give me an opportunity. It wasn’t a big decision in my life to choose to go abroad actually. I just want to speak better English. Also I don’t exactly remember when my attraction to foreign countries started to grow but I always had a longing for living in different countries. Maybe I had a thing for good looking western men. haha

Anyway there I was, living in the countryside of America, going to school like other kids. Boy, it was very hard for me to fit there. I was surprised to find myself being so shy to talk in English. I thought of myself that I was an active girl but it turns out I wasn’t so much. Well there were good kids and good host family who helped me go through life there.

While my stay in America, I met lots of exchange students like me from different countries. Now come to think about it, it was one of the most important experiences of my life. It taught me lots of things. First I was surprised to know that all the kids especially from Europe could speak English very well. Also they could talk about their countries a lot. I knew that we were from different cultures but it was too different. I was in shock and embarrassed of myself not being able to speak English and not knowing about Japan.

Well that became a reason for me to work and try hard to learn English more. So thanks to this I can now communicate and express my thoughts in English. So English part was solved. How about not knowing about Japan part?

Like the others, being in a different country gave me an opportunity to see Japan from outside. This was the first moment of my life to actually see where I came from. I could see things that are good and also bad about Japan. But time flies. By the time my English was strong enough to give me a confidence to talk and learned bit more about my own county, my days in America had to come to an end.

After coming back to Japan, I still regretted that I missed chances to talk about Japan. I wanted people to know more about where I came from and wanted to hear what they think about it. This feeling somehow always stayed in my mind for long time.

Then my second moment came across. I was in university in Saitama away from my hometown. My dad visited in Tokyo for business trip. My dad owns the store for sake(日本酒). He came to Tokyo to participate in the sake event. At that time I was old enough to drink so that I decided to go along with him. I enjoyed sake tasting with him and that was all for this time.

Then there was a time that I needed to decide where my future go. Job hunting started. I visited lots of companies but none of them looked attractive. The big reason was people working there weren’t smiling. And I remembered my parents especially my dad. He did look happy to work in the store. Then it made me wonder; what kind of industry does he work in?

And I did some research and found out the fact that Sake is one the culture that Japan can proud of. The history, the techniques, paring with food and so on. Then it hit me. This was perfect to fill my needs. I can involve in good part of culture in Japan and if I bring sake to outside of Japan, I can do things that I missed to do in high school, teaching about Japan.

Although I couldn’t drink much alcohol, after years of practice I fell in love with sakes from Akita, my home prefecture. Now I’m working with my dad at the store and also helping breweries to make sales in foreign countries. Over the year this has become something that I want to do and I’m happy and honor to work in this industry.

So from now on I will introduce about sake (日本酒) especially ones from Akita along with beautiful things about Japan such as food, landscape, tradition.

Yamatoshizuku(やまとしずく) from Akita
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