Tradition and innovation
in continuing to
create sake that
satisfies the spirit of drinkers
Shrines of the Okitama region, Japanese sake,
and art come together
for the OMIKI Project.
For the first step, Azumanofumoto Brewery
in Nanyo City made the sake
and Gravityfree created the product label.
Focus on Making Good Sake
The creators of this project’s product label, Gravityfree, and Kumano Taisha Shrine’s Gonnegi (shrine employee) Mr. Kitano visited Azumanofumoto Brewery in Shimiyauchi Miyauchi, Nanyo City. At the long-standing sake brewery built in 1896, they deepened their understanding of the traditional sake brewing process.
Brewing sake takes delicate work and care, and Azumanofumoto Brewery values the work they put into every step. They vow to never say “this should be fine,” when making sake. They also vow to never be careless when making daiginjo (special refined sake), josen (high-class sake), and kasen (honorable selection sake). The brewers have an unbending loyalty to the process.
Art that Matches the Flavor of Japanese Sake
After finishing their tour, the two members of Gravityfree spoke with eagerness. “I’m glad we had the chance to experience the inside of a brewery. I was surprised that both traditional methods, and thermal tanks with the newest methods were being used,” said 8g. djow, the second member, said, “I asked what I wanted to ask on the tour. I want to make art that matches the flavor of Azumanofumoto Brewery’s sake.”
Sake, Kumano, and Azumanofumoto
There is a tradition to offer sake to the gods for a religious festival, and then to drink that sake after it has absorbed divine aura. Sake drank during Shinto rituals and for celebration have a significant meaning in Japanese culture. In the past, shrines all over the country made sake and offered it to the gods, and then treated visitors to the sake. As times changed, many shrines stopped making sake. Instead, praying over and offering Junmai sake (ginjo/daiginnjo sake) made by local breweries to visitors of the shrine has become common practice. Azumanofumoto Brewery has continued to make sake for shrines.
The Gonnegi, Mr. Kitano, with expectations for Japanese culture said, “Drinking sake with everyone made from rice prayed over by a Shinto priest after annual festivals is ideal. So perhaps, making sake more digestible for young people by combing Gravityfree’s art with Azumanofumoto Brewery’s sake through this project, more people will show an interest in making rice and sake.
Made up of two artists. With multiple aesthetics at its core, they make “Gravityfree.” The special characteristic of these two with an influence from the music scene fall in their systematic, as well as impromptu painting style. While enjoying the communication between the giver and the receiver, something all art share at their root, Gravityfree travel domestically and internationally to do live painting shows and murals. They continue to paint and create working primarily out of Tokyo.
About the OMIKI Project
At the Yamagata Arcadia Tourism Bureau, as part of the Toyo Arcadia Project for developing omiyage (souvenirs) for the Yamagata area, we aim to promote the local area to the world through the uniquely Japanese culture, sake. Local breweries and world acknowledged graphic artists pair together to pray for the success of sake making, and develop original Japanese sake. We promote the “OMIKI Project” by selling omiyage. The project is to sell, develop, and promote “OMIKI” as high-brand “SAKE” to the world.
*OMIKI is sacred sake offered to the gods.