Most sake brewers are an artist. They like talking about dreams and philosophy, and treating their sakes as art pieces. So, when tasting a sake, it is always more fun to learn the story behind. And in Nagano, there is a sake project, “Gokujo”, that has recently caught the eyes of many sake fans. Led by 5 middle-aged brewers in pursuit of their dreams, brewing their own sakes under the same rules every year. Although this year is affected by the pandemic, they did not put their dreams behind. This project has now returned for its 7th year with the theme “30:70 Side Parting”. So, what is special about this year and the sakes?

2 Spirits: Ambition & Terroir

Brewing Rules
Since 2015

“Gokujo”, translated as “59 Brewing”, is a 10-year project co-launched by 5 sake brands from Nagano Prefecture: Hokkou Masamune, Ikioi Masamune, Sekizen, Moto Oi No Matsu, and Fukumuryo. Their brewers were all born in Showa 59 (1984) and share the same dream – make an iconic sake of the era and promote Nagano sake to the whole Japan. So, since 2015, the project has been started with the aim of getting more people from other regions to taste Nagano sake while polishing their brewing craftsmanship. Each year, a new theme is set and each brewer produces a sake based on it with a designated Nagano rice and 59% rice polishing ratio. Since different rice is used each year, the taste also differs. Together with the meaningful concept, the project has attracted the support of many sake lovers, so every year once the new edition is released, it is gone quickly.

7th Year: Add up as a whole

The brewers believe that drinking sake is a bridge which brings brewers and sake lovers together. When the two sides are brought together, they would become a whole just like the 30:70 side parting hair style. Therefore, the '30:70 side parting' has become this year's theme. On top of this, the 5 brewers are using 'Hitogokochi' sake rice (lit. People and Heart) as the main ingredient, implied 'Bring people together'. With each brewer employing different brewing methods and yeasts, although the same rice is used, the taste and style of their sake is so different. As a sake lover, let’s support these 5 dreamers by tasting their sake and find out our favorite.
Gokujo Limited Edition 2019 set

Gokujo Limited Edition 2021 SET
(Free Delivery)


Hokkou Masamune, Junmai Ginjo
(2021 Limited Edition)

Tasting Comments: The aroma is gorgeous and refreshing, with the note of green apple, and the aftertaste is short and sharp like ice. It can be a good companion with different kinds of dishes.

Ikioi Masamune, Junmai Ginjo
(2021 Limited Edition)

Brewed with Amazake, the sake is full of umami while the sweetness is moderate due to the usage of sweet koji. Added to the sourness of the sake, you can feel the well-balanced taste of the Junmai Ginjo.

Sekizen, Junmai Ginjo
(2021 Limited Edition)

With a soft aroma like white peach, the body is rich and thick yet has a light and sharp finish. Wine lovers may wish to give it a try.

Moto Oi No Matsu, Junmai Ginjo
(2021 Limited Edition)

Tasting Comments: The mouthfeel is rich and comfortable, the aroma is mild and sweet with the note of melon. Without miscellaneous taste and the aftertaste is soft.

Fukumuryo, Junmai Ginjo
(2021 Limited Edition)

Tasting Comments: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 is played during the brewing steps. The sake is classic but not outdatd as the music, with a gorgeous aroma as lily blooming in the field.

Behind the Scenes: Sake with Rock n' Roll

Most people think they should seek a stable life after turning 30. However, in the eyes of the 5 brewers of “Gokujo”, it is just a beginning. To record the progress of producing Gokujo, they have produced a music video with Rock & Roll that shows how they brew sake in a freezing winter. The impression of sake may be elegant and classy, but Gokujo has let us know it can be wild and cool. Let’s enjoy their sake while watching this passionate video!