TSUYOSHI MASUNAGA

I am a Production Manager.

From a very young age I was interested in sake making despite being born into a company selling jewelry and watches. After graduating from university, I returned home and worked as an engineer repairing watches but then, in my late 20’s, I decided to gather up my courage and join Umenoyado.

By my nature, i’ve always loved product design, repairing watches by improving and optimizing them to work better. Rather than recommending to customers products made by someone else, I wanted to recommend what I made, and Umenoyado is where I can do that. Haikara is the result of our desire to create new sake that excites people by making use of the techniques we learned from brew masters in their 70s and 80s.

I still remember the words I was told by my master of watch repairing, “Be a coward” and it is relevant to sake making. The brewing of sake is a very delicate process that requires the handling of microorganisms; how they grow and their fermentation rate changes depending on the day’s temperature and humidity. The method that you used yesterday that was perfect often will not work today.

What you must do is to always ask questions and if there is anything you do not understand, just keep on thinking about it until you come to logically understand it. Valuing not only the result, but also the process leading to the result without compromise is a “tradition” of the sake industry. Umenoyado’s policy is to use 50% tradition and 50% innovation. By maintaining this good balance, we will continue making good sake.

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