Kumamoto Sake Culture Society (Sake Bunka no Kai)
The Kumamoto Sake Culture Society is an association of 14 liquor shops in Kumamoto prefecture that try to promote the idea of making and selling sake in Kumamoto that is every bit as delicious as any other prefecture's.
Chiyonosono has taken up that cause, and created the private label Taito in cooperation with those 14 shops. Later, others began to join the movement, and currently there are 26 stores in Kumamoto prefecture, and 7 outside, for a total of 33 liquor stores where you can buy these sakes. There are even regular Taito Tasting Parties now.
There are five styles available under the Taito label: Junmai Ginjō, Junmai Ginjō Nama, Tokubetsu Junmaishu, Tokubetsu Honjōzō, and Junmai Daiginjō. In spring and fall we also offer junmaishu made with Kame no O sake brewing rice, and we continue to work on developing new products, and are dedicated to expanding this label.
We offer our sincere hopes that customers will continue to support Taito and the Kumamoto Sake Culture Society.
Junmai Ginjō Taito
1.8 L: ¥2,950 (+tax)
720 ml: ¥1,485 (+tax)
We use Kumamoto-grown Yamadanishiki sake rice with Kumamoto-sourced yeast in a high-temperature saccharification shubo starter, then allow it to slow-ferment at low temperatures for a heavenly ginjō.
Junmai Ginjō Nama Taito
300 ml: ¥520 (+tax)
This ginjō is bottled fresh after pressing and stored unpasteurized at low temperatures, so you can savor the fresh, vibrant nama aroma and flavor.
Tokubetsu Junmaishu Taito
1.8 L: ¥2,450 (+tax)
We mill the rice to 55% to balance the full bodied umami with a gentle, elegant aroma. This is the epitome of tokubetsu junmai flavor.
Tokubetsu Honjōzō Taito
1.8 L: ¥1,960 (+tax)
We mill the rice to 55% in this honjōzō sake that is brewed with the utmost care. It results in a sake with a rich flavor and clean finish, that matches a full aroma with deep umami.
Junmai Daiginjō Taito
720 ml: ¥3,000 (+tax)
This sake is made from highly polished Yamadanishiki rice grown in Kumamoto prefecture, which is pressed using the traditional fukurozuri method, a gravity-pressing method using mash hung in cloth bags. It's a truly hand-crafted junmai daiginjō.
There are also other seasonal Taito sakes.
Please visit your nearest Kumamoto Sake Culture Society member shop to purchase.
Kumamoto Sake Culture Society (Sake Bunka no Kai) Member Shops
Ushijima Liquor, K.K.
Daily Yamazaki Amakusa-Hamada Branch
Kawakami Liquor, K.K.
Kengun Liquor, Y.K.
Sake no Kuramoto
Tatae Saketen, G.P.
Tawaraya Liquor Store, Y.K.
Tokunaga Shouten Liquor, G.P.
Nishiki no Ro
Noda Liquor, Y.K.
Hanaya Liquor, Y.K.
Hirayama Liquor, Y.K.
Fujihara Liquor, G.P.
Aoyama Mikawaya, K.K.
Yamauchi Liquor, K.K.
Liquor Gin Shizuku
Taizan Hokuto -The Inspiration of Taito
The name Taito comes from a saying brought over from China long ago, “Taizan, Hokuto.” Taizan is the Japanese name for Mount Tai, in China’s Shandong province, which is one of China's five most sacred mountains. It has long been an object of respect and reverence, much like Mt. Fuji in Japan. Hokuto is the north star, the guiding light in the heavens. Thus, calling someone “Taizan, Hokuto” is a way of saying that person stands taller than all others in what they do, a person to whom everyone can raise their eyes as a guide and role model because of their years of dedication and perseverance.
This saying can be traced back to Tang Dynasty China, and the Chinese author and poet Han Yu.
Han Yu is often grouped with Li Bai, Du Fu, and Bai Juyi as one of the four great voices of the Tang dynasty. Born in remote Henan province, he was orphaned at age two and then raised by an uncle. Despite his troubled childhood, he eventually passed the prestigious civil service exams, and found a position near the emperor in the capital.
His skill with prose, and to a lesser extent poetry, earned him great respect. However, his principled critiques of the emperor, in particular almost ended with his death, but in the end he was only demoted and exiled to Chaozhou in far off Guangdong province.
Han Yu was invited back to the emperor's court when Emperor Muzong took the throne, and he soon made an even greater name for himself in the war office with a series of military successes. Thus, he passed through great trials, and his star rose ever higher.
Han Yu died at the age of 57. The imperial court buried him with honor, and used the character 文, meaning letters, in his posthumous name, to recognize his vast talent at writing. He is still considered one of China's greatest writers of any age, and the Old Book of Tang even includes his biography, which says that "Han Yu was highly respected by scholars as one who had mastered the six arts (poetry, prose, divination, the Spring and Autumn Annals, Book of Rites, and Book of Music). After his death, the literature he inspired began to flourish, and the educated now call him Taizan Hokuto.”