Japan is experiencing a sake boom, more precisely, the growing popularity of premium sake. It is the result of a dramatic reform of the Japanese sake industry over the past few decades. In this article, I argue that, from a cultural perspective, wine culture is being adopted as a cultural frame to facilitate the revival and rebranding of Japan's national drink. This adoption is a “culinary translation” of Japanese sake through the globally familiar language of wine. In this process, the Japaneseness of sake is by no means challenged, but made “legible” through the more familiar discourse and practices prevalent in the culture of wine.

This content is only available via PDF.