Nice to meet you. My name is Masaru Ito, the ninth generation of the Ito family, the makers of the Japanese sake "Shikishima" and President of Ito Corporation. Shikishima" is a sake brewed in Kamezaki-cho, Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, and was started by Magozaemon Ito in 1858. As described in detail in the History section, the former Ito Limited Partnership returned its sake brewing license in 2000 and went out of business, ending its 200-plus year history. However, in 2021, the sake brewing license was reacquired through M&A, and the land and buildings were bought back by a descendant of the same family, thus reviving the company as a sake brewery in the same location.
Why did you start a sake brewery again? It was because I saw the changes in the Kamezaki area where the brewery is located and wanted to connect the traditions and the community to the next generation. This area has flourished in the brewing, shipping, and fishing industries. In the Taisho era (1912-1926), it was a culturally and commercially prosperous area with a department store and two theaters. However, in the Meiji period (1868-1912), the burden of sake tax became heavier, and the number of breweries decreased as the distribution system shifted from marine to land transportation.
Shikishima is intended to be a "food sake". We call it a sake that makes 1+1=3. I would like to provide a kind of entertainment, a time and space to enjoy Japanese food, rather than a single event of "eating rice" and "drinking sake. This is because I myself love the moment when I feel "happy" while eating rice and drinking alcohol. It is those moments that make me work hard. It is those moments that make my daily life, which tends to be a repetition of the same thing, more colorful. There is no happier moment than when I am able to play a part in creating these colors.
Last but not least, we want to create a culture, not a fad. Right now, we are just one sake manufacturer that has just started business. We don't care if we don't make big sales. We do not need to be liked by everyone in the world. But we want to make sake that people will continue to say, "Without Shikishima, this wonderful time would never have existed" 100 years or 200 years from now.
Shikishima will continue to be near food and will be a standard sake for 200 years.