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Shochu boom in Japan

 Let’s study Japanese shochu boom today!

Japanese shochu boom

Do you know how many times Japan had shochu boom before?

About the end of Meiji era in Japan. There were about 3,000 shochu makers  in Kagoshima prefecture. However, the arrangement of the shochu maker was done by the government and the number drastically decreased. As a result of the trial and error of the brewery that survived, the long-inherited manufacturing method changed dramatically, and it established to the present mainstream production method.

After that, a big shochu boom occurred about 3 times in Japan. 

 1.The first shochu boom in the late 1970s 

TV commercials makes first shochu boom and that CM  was made by Satsuma Shuzo famous for “Shiranami” .

 The CM catch phrase was  “6: 4 Rokuyon” and “Yoizame-sawayaka”.

 Later the name of “Shiranami” became known all over the country and became a fire of first shochu boom. 

Vibes Point1

6:4 Rokuyon

Shochu 60% and hot water 40% = 6:4

6 = roku   4= yon   so we called ‘Rouyon for shochu mixed by hot water’


Refreshing drunkard

2.First half of the 1980s Second shochu boom

Chu-hi became really famous this era really quickly .

Normally we use Korui-shochu for Chu-hi so this movement led the consumption of shochu. 

At this time,  the representative brand of barley shochu “Iichiko” became famous with the catchphrase of “Napoleon of Shita-machi”, and the market was out of stock in succession.

 Vibes Point2

Shita-machi = old town or down town

 So Napoleon of Shita-machi means , taste is like a ‘Napoleon = super good’

 But price is ‘Shita-machi’ = casual , popular

3.Around 2003 Third shochu boom

 It is the arrival of sweet potato shochu boom.

Until that time barley shochu was mainstream , but sweet potato shochu was made famous at once.

 One reason why sweet potato shochu became famous,,,

 The famous artist said “Kuro-kirishima (sweet potato shochu)’’ is delicious” on TV.

 There, new keywords such as “health oriented” and “functional” appeared, and spurred a lot on “health” of authentic shochu in TV and magazines, and consumers who switched regular spirits to shochu rapidly increased.

 (Switched Sake and beer to shochu)

 Consumer’s health consciousness and information dissemination of the press were successfully involved, and an explosive authentic shochu boom was born.

4.From health-oriented to genuine oriented

In the unprecedented shochu boom, some shochu became premium and prices rise.

 And the way of drink shochu changed from Chu-hi to ‘with ice, with water, with hot water’ people enjoyed the original flavor of the materials (sweet potato , soba, rice barley) , And consumers began to seek more authentic taste and scent.

Since the second shochu boom, shochu maker tried hard to spread their shochu to consumer because some of customers thought shochu is cheap alcohol.

That boom made The opportunity to know the quality of the real shochu, deliciousness and culture everyone! 

After 2007, all Shochu consuming amount in Japan looks decreasing. 

So make 4th shochu boom, that is really important.

Glocal BAR Vibes owner Nori believe 4th shochu boom will be happen soon and boom will be made by not only Japanese people but also foreign people who loves shochu!!