Meeting a Real Live Sake Samurai!

Sake Samurai 2008

Sake Samurai 2008
Today I had the honor of meeting a very rare breed, a Sake Samurai!

Sake Samurai started in 2005. Every year just five or six people are made Sake Samurai; this year 4 Japanese and 2 non-Japanese. It is quite an honor! The program was founded by the Japan Sake Brewers Association Junior Council to “share (the) love of sake and the desire to nurture it, to restore the pride (in) sake and to spread sake culture not only within Japan but throughout the world”. According to the project organizers, a samurai is someone that is “pure of heart, defending what is precious to them with passion and resolve”. The Sake Samurai have a deep feeling for sake in their hearts, not only are they a rare breed, they are a new breed. There are literally just a handful of them.

Sake Samurai Timothy Sullivan

image credit: UrbanSake

Meeting A Sake Samurai
Timothy Sullivan, from UrbanSake was in town for a few days for the annual Sake Samurai event. Timothy and I became acquainted via our blogs this last spring and had planned to attend the Sake Samurai events and tastings together. I, unfortunately was unable to attend. Bronchitis kept me horizontal for the last week or so but the wonder of antibiotics has *finally* got me back in action so I was able to meet Timothy for lunch today and he told me all about becoming a Sake Samurai (see below for more about Sake Samurai). This is a great post on his blog about when he was named a Sake Samurai.

UrbanSake Website
UrbanSake.com is one of the most comprehensive and complete resources for sake in English. I can’t recall seeing any Japanese language resources with this breadth. Timothy is not only a samurai, a sake educator, he is a clever and inspired hacker! Check out the CAPTCHA images on his comment forms, all the CAPTCHA words are sake vocabulary!

In addition to Timothy’s Sake Blog, his site has some other really great and informative resources.
Sake Notebook (The Sake Samurai’s tasting notes)
Sake 101: Learn About Sake! (Sake classifications, production process, glossary and video gallery)
Find Sake by Prefecture (Search sake breweries in Japan on an interactive map)
Sake Events

More About Sake Samurai Project

Sake Samurai Poster

image credit: Sake Samurai

Sake Samurai – Prospectus
Samurai: Those who are pure of heart, defending what is precious to them with passion and resolve.

The Japan Sake Brewers Association Junior Council, fearing that the pride of the Japanese people was in danger of being lost from Japan, formed the Sake Samurai last year as a gathering of those who share a love of sake and the desire to nurture it, to restore the pride of sake and to spread sake culture not only within Japan but throughout the world.

Sake Samurai – Three Tenets
・Love both sake and the beautiful culture of Japan.
・Strive to gain a deeper understanding of sake culture and work on behalf of its further development.
・Spread the word about Japanese sake around the world with pride and passion.

Sake Samurai – Conferment Rules
1. Sake Samurai will engage in activities designed to promote Japanese culture and the magnificence of sake both in Japan and overseas.

2. Sake Samurai will be headquartered in the offices of the Japan Sake Brewers Association Junior Council.

3. Sake Samurai headquarters may confer the title of Sake Samurai on individuals who love sake and have contributed to the promotion of its merits in Japan or overseas, or to those with the potential to make such a
contribution, based on its own selection or by approving a nomination made by a Sake Samurai.

4. Sake Samurai, in accepting this title, pledge to respect and practice the Three Tenets.

5. Sake Samurai shall bear their title proudly as a symbol of their active role in protecting sake’s honor.

source: Sake Samurai Official Site

2 Responses to “Meeting a Real Live Sake Samurai!”

  1. Katey B says:

    Congratulations to Timothy for being recognized as a true warrior.

  2. etsuko says:

    Sake really connects us both in the cyber world and in the real world! Kampai to Sake Samurai and Kyotofoodie!

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