In Topics, we will deliver not only the taste of sake but also the story and thoughts behind it through interviews with the sake producers handled by the sake select shop Mirai Nihonshuten .
Continuing from the last time , we interviewed Mr. Kazuma from Kazuma Sake Brewery in Ishikawa Prefecture.
In this second installment, we will talk about the big change in Noto's breweries, the abolition of the toji system.
Communication between breweries
-Is there a difference now from when you took over?
There is. When I took over, I think it was about 450 koku, but now it's about 850, and next year it will be about 900.
-It's really doubled.
I think it's about Roughly speaking.
- That's amazing.
No, it's not a system that pursues the number of stones, so it's not at all. I have no idea about that.
-There is a view that the toji groups in Noto breweries are very closely related, but do the breweries often work together? Or do you feel like it happens occasionally?
Right after I took over, we didn't act together or communicate much. I just said let's have a drink together. When I started drinking with the president and his son and daughter, we started talking about various things and working together.
Now we can communicate very well and I think we are getting along well.
-I see. If so, where do you meet?
Wajima, isn't it?
-Wajima is just the right distance.
It's just right. There are quite a few restaurants, and it's a place that everyone can easily go to.
-The furthest would be Suzu.
If it's from Wajima, it's not that far. Wajima is like a halfway point.
-Let's talk about various things there.
Yes, we do this while sharing information, asking questions, and listening to problems
I want to get out of the arena of the sake industry
-Looking at the various breweries in Japan, are there any breweries or people you see as role models? Or are there not many?
I'm not really conscious of it. However, for each company, there are things that say, “this kind of thing about this company is good.”
For example, a sake brewery that hires new graduates, a sake brewery that pursues manufacturing from a scientific point of view, and a branding. But it's not like I want to be like that.
I want to break away from competing in the same arena as the sake industry, and I want to adopt a method of not competing. Do you feel that other sake breweries refer to good points?
-When I talk with various people, many people say that they are conscious of wine. How about Mr. Kazuma?
I'm not very conscious of it. Of course, there are times when I do research and get influenced, but I don't really consciously change things accordingly.
Abolition of the toji system “I am more grateful for what I take for granted”
-What was the main reason for abolishing the toji system and adopting an employee system this year?
The biggest reason was that two years ago, the long-time chief brewer moved to another brewery.
For me, I had this idea that the chief brewer would always be there and work together with me. I didn't know anything, so it's a selfish image. However, the toji is also a technical group, so there are various things such as wanting to improve his skills in other breweries, so it was not a matter of course.
At that time, I realized that I should be more grateful for things that I take for granted. Also, I knew that the reputation of the brewery would change just by changing the position of the chief brewer, so I vaguely thought that this was not a very good thing.
Looking at other sake breweries, there are many that have abolished the toji system nationwide. I decided to give it a try and steered in that direction.
-From what I've heard, it seems that things have changed for the better.
I agree. I think we are heading in the right direction.
-I see, thank you.
Next time , I will ask about the project "N-project" that I did jointly with the students.