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What is Washu和酒?

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Let's start talking a little bit about beverage in Japan, and difference between Wa和 and Yo (You/Yoh)洋.

I found this link about Washu和酒 in Japanese, and used Google translator. The translation may not be accurate, but I can follow up if any inconvenience.

Please read this below and give us your input!


ryu Miyashita, President, Miyashita Brewery Co., Ltd. Please criticize the following hypothesis about the big trend of consumption of liquor. <Hypothesis>, after the Meiji Restoration, after World War II, the process to the present day is the process in which "Japanese sake" (Japanese culture) continues to be driven out by "Western sake" (Western civilization). So I wrote the following graph. Ratio of "Japanese sake" to "Western sake" If the sake produced before the Meiji Restoration is called "Japanese sake", sake, shochu, and mirin are applicable. If the sake that practical production started after the Restoration is called "Western sake", beer, wine, whiskey, miscellaneous sake, etc. are applicable. As for shochu, "shochu crust" by a continuous distiller was made around 1911, but since the 1937 tax rate cannot be divided into ko and Oto, shochu was put in Japanese sake, and the ratio of "Japanese sake" and "Western sake" was made into a graph (go to: In 1868, the new Meiji government was born, but because the new government was a slogan of "civilization and opening up", "Western sake" became a symbol of Western civilization. As for beer, W. Copend, an American, started brewing beer in Yokohama in Meiji 2. In Meiji 9, a government-run Hokkaido brewery, Sapporo Barley Brewery, opened. Wine also became made in the early Meiji era under the "Shokusan Kogyo" policy, but its spread was after the war. In other words, the full-fledged "Western sake" market will be formed after World War II. After the war, the U.S. military was stationed, the lives of us Japanese became westernized, life style changed, the economic environment was liberalized and internationalized, and the appreciation of the yen made it possible to buy foreign goods cheaply. As a result, "Western sake" such as beer, whiskey, and wine has became overwhelming "Japanese sake" because of the drinking pattern centered on sake before the war. By the way, what will become of "Japanese sake" in the future? Shochu oto of "Japanese sake" is doing well despite repeated tax increases. The problem is the trend of sake, which is the center of Japanese sake. Because it will be long, I was allowed to raise a problem this month. I'll write more next month.

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