THE HISTORY OF SAKE
According to Shinto legend, sake comes from the gods themselves. It’s said that Susanoo, the god of sea and storm, used sake to subdue an eight-headed serpent terrorizing Izumo. The beast drank eight tubs full of sake before passing out and falling prey to Susanoo’s sword.
The more likely, and far less heroic, origin of sake dates back to the fourth century, when rice was chewed at religious festivals, then spit into containers to ferment. Thankfully, sake has evolved quite a bit since then.
More sophisticated brewing techniques arrived from China in the seventh century, allowing sake to be refined into a clear liquid. And, thus, greatly increased the drink’s popularity.
During the Meiji period (1868-1912), further advances in the brewing process made it possible to mass produce sake for the first time. And today, there are over 10,000 sake brands on the market.