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The Advertimes site has an article on a design competition held by Dassai to find a new presentation box for their bottles.

Called the Dassai Design Award, the contest opened in June 2018. The article quotes Hiroshi Sakurai, head of the Asahi Shuzō brewery, on the background behind it.

Sakurai starts off by saying that up until now he had handled all of Dassai’s design work himself, as he knew he understood his own brand. However, he also notes that this approach risks trapping the brand image in his ideas, so he wanted to try introducing something new. He says he has no idea what the designers entering the competition will come up with, but he’s looking forward to it.

The competition judges include: Masamichi Tōyama, chairman and managing director of Smiles Co., Ltd whose brands include the Tokyo Soup Stock chain; Chef Yosuke Suga, founder of the internationally renowned resturant SUGALABO; former actress and multi-talented short film-maker and artist Yuki Ninagawa; and Naoki Sakai, chairman and managing director of Water Design, which offers concept design for products and services. Plus Sakurai himself.

Sakurai’s brief for the box is that he wants a design that’s not just cool, but that also represents Dassai’s umasa (tastiness, desirability) – given in brackets as sizzle-kan (シズル感, feeling of sizzling, excitement). [I can’t believe that was in my Kenkyusha dictionary. Kudos.] Ninagawa commented that she hopes to see some unique, provocative and above all beautiful designs.

The presentation box is for Dassai’s Daiginjo 23, and has a top prize of JPY 1,000,000. The design will be used for 50,000 boxes to be used domestically and overseas.

[It’s not clear if the competition is still running after the brewery was damaged by the catastrophic rain and flooding in Japan in July 2018. (Asahi Shuzō, makers of Dassai, damaged by flooding)]