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So many shochu makers are in 九州 Kyusyu ! Why?

Hey guys in Japan it is becoming cold at night time so so many shochu lover started to swtich to drink shochu with hot water ! Good season ! Now I’m drinking shochu in Kumamoto prefecture in Kyusyu area . Let’s enjoy to learn about kyusyu !

There are more than 850 shochu makers in Japan but more than 380 shochu makers are in Kyusyu area!!
Here is Japan tax agency date ‘Number of licensed stes by prefecture’ so that you can understand about how Kyusyu has so many shochu makers !!

There are some of reason why so many shochu mkaers are in Kyusyu area so i will introduce 3 reasons below.

(1) Origin theory of raw materials

Sweet potato , barley, rice, and Buckwheat are the most well-known ingredients of shochu, but according to the IRS’s breakdown of primary ingredients, sweet potato comes in first, barley second, and rice third.

Kyushu has a large production volume of sweet potatoes (yield). The top prefecture is Kagoshima with a 35% share of the national market. Three prefectures are ranked in the top 10: Miyazaki (4th), Kumamoto (6th) and Oita (8th). The total share for the three prefectures is 50%.

Yes , Kyusyu has prenty of raw materials.

(2) Temperature

In the manufacturing process of both sake and shochu, the raw materials are fermented from koji to make moromi(mash). Most of koji used for sake is “yellow koji” and yellow koji does not ferment well at high temperatures.
Therefore, in the Kyushu region, “Black koji” which can ferment koji even in warm regions where yellow koji cannot be fermented, has been used. Compared to yellow koji, black koji produces citric acid, so it prevents the decay of moromi (mash), and while it was difficult to ferment yellow rice malt in the Kyushu region to make sake, research into black rice malt has made it possible to make sake stably.

(3) Dissemination route theory of shochu

The origin of Japanese Shochu is not exactly known, but it is said that there were 3 routes.

☆Route from Thailand via Ryukyu (Okinawa): Awamori
☆Route Distillery from China via Iki (Nagasaki)
☆Route introduced by Wakan (pirate) from China

As far as the domestic literature records confirm, shochu is thought to have been produced at least in the 16 century, and according to the literature “Shiryukyuroku” , a messenger to Ryukyu (Okinawa) from Min (China), it was brought to Ryukyu from Thailand in 1534, and the theory transmitted through the route from Thailand to Ryukyu is said to be the most probable.

In any case, it is a culture that was introduced to the Kyushu area quickly.

Vibes point

Kyusyu has so many shochu makers you could understand.
And this is more interesting date from national tax agency !!

How much shochu do people drink per year on average? According to the data, the top 5 are all prefectures in Kyushu. (excluding Okinawa)
There are many shochu makers in Kyushu, and I think you can see that people in Kyushu really love Shochu and drink it often and a lot!!
If you like Shochu, please come to Kyushu and feel its charm.

Writer

Glocal BAR Vibes / Nori