This article presents the first English translation and commentary on Sake Journal (Goshu no nikki), the earliest guide to sake brewing and one of the most important sources for understanding the history of sake making in medieval Japan (1192–1600). Sake Journal includes six recipes for sake, five of which are translated here, along with the directions for pasteurization. Besides providing insights into the technology and tools of medieval brewing, as a secret manuscript whose dissemination was strictly controlled, Sake Journal documents the professionalization of the brewing craft and the popularization of certain styles.
Sake Journal (Goshu no nikki): Japan’s Oldest Guide to Brewing
Eric C. Rath is a professor of history at the University of Kansas, where he teaches courses on food history and premodern Japan. A specialist in traditional Japanese foodways, his books include Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2010), Japan’s Cuisines: Food, Place and Identity (Reaktion Books, 2016), and Oishii: The History of Sushi (Reaktion Books, 2021). He is currently writing a history of sake.
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Eric C. Rath; Sake Journal (Goshu no nikki): Japan’s Oldest Guide to Brewing. Gastronomica 1 November 2021; 21 (4): 42–50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2021.21.4.42
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