Setsubun in Japan celebrates the first light of spring (known as Imbolc, Candlemas, and Brigid’s Day in the Western World). The holiday's purpose is to welcome the changing season and the first day of spring, and to cleanse the home and community of negative energy.
A ritual is held on Setsubun called mamemaki, or “bean scattering.” People toss roasted soy beans outside their homes, at a Shinto shrine, or a Buddhist temple at people wearing demon masks. The chant during the ceremony goes,
“Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Demons get out! Good fortune come in!”) That's a message we can get behind.
Takatenjin Sword of the Sun Tokubetsu Honjozo
Sword of the Sun: Go The Extra Mill
Takatenjin comes from the Brewery Doi Shuzo in Shizuoka which is known for its environmentally sustainable brewing practices, and for being regional pioneers in making the fruity, dry saké that the area is known for.
Sword of the Sun is a Tokubetsu (did you say special? Yes we did!) Honjozo that has been milled to 60%, so an extra 10% more than a typical Honjozo. It’s soft and refreshing with light botanical notes, marshmallow sweetness, good acidity, and a buttery finish.
Tensei Song of the Sea
Making Music With Rice And Yeast
Mr. Igarashi is the Toji of Tensei Brewery, and he dabbles in brewing beer - this lends to his knowledge in the use of a variety of yeast. Song of the Sea uses a very special yeast called “Kumamoto yeast,” also known as Yeast #9. According to Saké World, “clean and bright sake with wonderful balance is the trademark of this line of yeasts. Indeed, there is nothing quite like classic #9 flavors and aromas in a sake.”
Song of the Sea is a Junmai Ginjo that is milled to 50% (again, more than the required amount). It has notes of green melon, banana, white flowers and watermelon, with a nice minerality and just a touch of heat on the finish.