PRIDE AS NANBU TOJI A toji is the master brewer who is in charge of elaborate sake brewing process. The toji must maintain a consistent quality and flavor true to the sake brand, regardless of various conditions and changes.

Hideo Segawa has been the toji in Yoshino-Shuzo since 2008. He belongs to nanbu Toji, one of the three largest and most respected regional groups of brewers in Japan. Toji Segawa's high craftsmanship has been proven by the awards he has won in sake competitions. Toji Segawa remains humble and says, "I am just doing my best to make traditional, hand crafted sake."

He is passionate about his commitment to maintaining traditional flavors and methods in his brewing. His 'desirable sake brewing' comes from his loyalty and passion toward the art of sake brewing, aided by his deep insight, inquiry, humbleness and dedication. This dedication, along with his warm personality, is proudly reflected in "Koshigoi".


APPEARENCE OF KURABITO Every year when the sake brewing season arrives, kurabito (brewery workers) come to our brewery from the nanbu region, or the town of Hanamaki, in the Iwate prefecture. The kurabito work hard through the cold winter and into spring to craft the new sake. There is much pressure in anticipating and responding to the daily changes that affect the sake, and their senses must remain sharp as there is no room for error. And in some cases, new sake is crafted after repeated trial and error. Toji is responsible for the entire sake brewing process.

To brew Ginjo sake (premium sake), they vigorously put their hearts and souls into their work, and often even sacrifice their sleep. Their delicate work is much tougher than we could imagine, requiring many skills and experiences. The kurabito eat and sleep together in the brewery for approximately 5 months when shikomi (moromi preparation) starts, to early April when hiire (low-temperature pasteurization) is complete. They work day and night to be able to respond to any changes in brewing conditions such as a change in temperature. In each brewing step, they strive to maintain the quality and carefully monitor each condition and progress in their sake brewing. They craft sake with great care, like they would raise their own baby.

Their rigid loyalty toward sake brewing, passion, and high skill and sense from many years are shown in the noble appearance of toji and kurabito, which is a pride of modest Nanbu.