Seikyo and Takehara

Seikyo – the Essence of Takehara
Human connections still the key to our sake brewing

Here we introduce how our Seikyo brand came to be in Takehara and why we are devoted to using Takehara-grown Omachi rice.

Beautifully Preserved Takehara

大Takehara in the Taisho Period (1912~1926)
Takehara in the Taisho Period (1912~1926)
Present-day Takehara
Present-day Takehara

Home to Nakao Brewery, Takehara town flourished during the Heian Period (794~1185) as the manor of Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine and is often referred to as “Little Kyoto of Aki”, the former name for Hiroshima.

The town developed rapidly as a salt producer bringing great wealth to the whole region.

The charming and well-preserved town of Takehara is designated as important traditional cultural property of Japan.

Plentiful Sunshine
Perfect for Rice Cultivation

Plentiful Sunshine Perfect for Rice Cultivation

The reason for Takehara’s success as a salt producer is found in its unique environment with long hours of sunshine and minimal rainfall.

This environment that enabled prosperous salt production is also highly suited to rice cultivation, so it seems only natural that the town soon had a flourishing sake brewing industry.

A Peak of 26 Sake Breweries

A Peak of 26 Sake Breweries

The Takehara region underwent rapid development in the Taisho Period thanks to its ideal climate for sake brewing of plentiful sunshine and minimal rain, coupled with wealth gained from the salt fields. At the peak, there were 26 sake breweries in Takehara.

This photo was taken at the time of a visit by the Takehara sake brewing association to Oyamazumi Shrine for the opening of the treasure hall.

Passionate about
“Takehara’s Omachi” Rice

Together with five contract farmers, we grow Omachi rice in the Nika district of Takehara.

Omachi rice came to Takehara after being created in Okayama in 1859.

A sakamai variety ideal for sake production, it is an ancestor to Yamada Nishiki and Gohyaku Mangoku, very popular sake rice varieties today.

As a wild species of rice, it is vulnerable to disease, and when production volumes dropped dramatically during wartime it came to be known as the elusive sakamai.

Our efforts along with many sake breweries have led to a revival of Omachi rice.

Five Key Characteristics of Omachi

  • Pleasant rounded mellow taste
  • Full complex flavor
  • Rich body and long aftertaste
  • Balanced sweetness and acidity
  • Umami emerges with aging

These are precisely the flavors we aspire to in our sake brewing, and in partnership with farmers in our perfectly suited natural environment we brew all our sake using only locally-grown Omachi rice.