- Roslyn Foo
- January 31, 2017
Quality Okayama Japan
Quality Okayama Japan project returns this year after it’s introduction in 2016, once again showcasing 5 excellent sake master brewers and Bizen ware. The one-day exhibition was held on Monday 16th January 2017 at Cumulus Up in Melbourne. The Okayama culture is entwined with Omachi rice, water, soil, and fire. It is blessed with natural conditions such as three clean large rivers that flow from northern forested areas, and a temperate inland coastal climate. It also has some of the oldest history of rice production, dating back to 3500 years!
Okayama is known as the Land of Rice and also the Land of Sake. 3 criteria to make good sake are good rice, good skills, and good water. In the ancient word “Harima Fudoki” from the Nara period (8th century), Okayama is noted as the birthplace of sake. Omachi rice was discovered in this land over 100 years ago. A high level of craftsmanship for brewing delicious sake has been fostered in this area, historically and now. The result of this is a fragrant Omachi rice sake that has a mellow taste, perfect for the delicate Japanese cuisine, contemporary western food as well as cheese and chocolate.
Bizen ware is a traditional Japanese pottery where the unglazed ware is put into a wood burning kiln for 10-15 days to acquire a natural ash glaze and subdued sharings. The finished product is simple with the clay being exposed very directly. However, this does not happen by chance, the process is actually painstaking. Clay taken from the rice paddies or mountain must go through many processes over a long period of time before it is touched by flames until it reaches 1250 degree celcius. This is why Bizen ware is known as the art of Earth and Fire, the beauty of Bizen ware is thought to be born from the union of nature and man. The kiln loading and firing techniques have been passed from generation to generation, some techniques have been lost over hundreds of years, and some new techniques were developed by modern potters. 3 standout characteristics of a Bizen ware is the Hidasuki, Goma and Botamochi patterns seen around the ware.
Renowned Sommelier Masahiko Iga conducted a sommeliers exclusive Okayama sake tasting session, around 30 professional guests experienced the finest quality of Omachi rice sake and introduced to 5 master brewers from Tsuji Honten, Itana Shuzo Honten, Shiragiku Shuzo, Kikuchi Sake Brewery and Miyashita Sake Brewery.
Here is a gallery to remind us of 2016’s Quality Okayama project debut in Melbourne.
This project is a collaboration with the traditional products of Okayama in western Japan, brought to you by Tryber Pty Ltd. Click here for more info.