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Sake Disaster – Ishikawa Earthquake and Recovery Efforts

Sake Disaster – Ishikawa Earthquake and Recovery Efforts

It’s been a very tough 2 weeks to start the new year in Japan, and none tougher than in the Ishikawa Prefecture area which is home to many of our sake breweries and sake friends. 

There was a massive earthquake in the area on January 1st, and to this day we still don’t know the full effect of the devastation to this incredibly beautiful and important part of Japan. As of writing this article, what we do know is that the Noto and Suzu City area of Ishikawa was severely impacted. And when we say severely, we mean in the direst of capacities. Along with the tragic loss of human life, we lost many sake breweries that have been completely destroyed. 

 Life is greater than sake, and we pray for those unfortunate families who are dealing with this incredible loss. If you would like to give directly to the Japanese Red Cross, this link(Use Google Translate on your web browser) will take you to a donation page. Thank you for your generosity.

As we are a sake retail store that has been in business for the past 21 years, we have seen several similar natural disasters and horrible occurrences such as this earthquake in Ishikawa. We feel that the best way to show our support is to sell the sake from this prefecture as quickly as possible. By creating sales and demand, our importers can go back to the breweries and state that they need to re-order product as quickly as possible too. Our support is to grow support for Ishikawa sake, and that is what we will do.

Note from Mei: If you're not sure about donating to the Japanese Red Cross, we also recommend They are more of a grassroots organization who has worked several disasters in Japan in the past. If you have a Yahoo Japan account, you can donate directly to their Noto Earthquake cause here, or donating here to the organization in general would help greatly. You will find English on the bottom of the donation page. Once you're in the payment information page, you will have an option to designate the dotation to the Emergency Disaster Support. Which will look like this: 災害緊急支援 EDR. Then fill out the rest of the information as you would normally. We have chosen to donate ¥100,000 to OpenJapan.
If you use the search function on the True Sake webpage, you will quickly deduce that we offer a lot of sake from many breweries in this very important sake-brewing region of Japan that is steeped with history and sake lore. In a word, we love Ishikawa sake, and our passion for this region’s brew will lead our efforts to get you and others to try Ishikawa sake for perhaps the 20th time or hopefully the first. 

When we learned of the quake, we immediately reached out to our importers, who were directly in contact with those breweries, and the news varied widely. Brewers like Kikuhime, Kobori Shuzoten (makers of Manzairaku), Uozu Shuzo in Toyama (makers of Hokuyo), and even Hara Shuzo in Niigata (makers of Koshi no Homare) were okay. So too were friends at Yoshida Shuzoten (makers of Tedorigawa), Shata Shuzo (makers of Tengumai), and Hakuto, but other friends at Mioya Brewery (makers of Yuho) lost almost all of their bottle aged sake inventory. An incredible loss for sure. But as they would say, they were very lucky because they had no major structural damage. 
In this light, we point to our very good friends in Suzu City at Sogen, which was hit by a massive landslide, and is now forced to discontinue all sake production this season. And still, they were more fortunate than Matsunami Brewery, Sakurada Sake Brewery, Tsuruno Shuzoten, and Hiyoshi Shuzoten that were all “completely destroyed.” Sadly, there are several other breweries that we still don’t know their fate, as they are too isolated to share their miseries and potentially devastating news.  

When you hear about Kazuma Shuzo that was flooded by a tsunami, Shimizu Sake Brewery and Nakajima Shuzoten that were “half destroyed,” and Nakano Shuzo that was “partially destroyed” you put a word to an existence, and it’s simply horrible.
So we would like to encourage you to help us do our part! For the rest of January, we will be discounting all Ishikawa Sake by 20%(Code: SupportIshikawa) to move as much product as possible, so our importers can re-order as quickly as possible. True Sake will also be making a donation directly to the recovery groups on the ground in Ishikawa Prefecture. If we make an impact, then there is a very good chance that we will be taking this effort through February as well. 

Thank you for your passion, your understanding, your sympathy, and your sense of sake community. Thank you for doing your part. 

God Bless Japan. 
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