The brewery lost power and had their office and brewery flooded during the torrential rains that swept the area in June and July 2018.
Another person affected by the disaster was manga artist Kenishi Hirokane, native of Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture. He’s the creator of the long-standing (1983-1992) Kōsaku Shima series chronicling a young salaryman’s rise to the top of his company. [Apparently based on the author’s time in Panasonic, and very realistic if you’re into that kind of thing.]
Hirokane teamed up with Dassai to create a special label featuring his character, and it went on sale in August 2018 with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for relief activities in four prefectures: Okayama, Hiroshima, Ehime and Yamaguchi. Around 580,000 bottles of the special junmai daiginjō Dassai Kōsaku Shima were sold for JPY 1,200, with JPY 200 donated to charity. The joint effort raised JPY 11,600,000.
President Kazuhiro Sakurai visted the Hiroshima Prefectural Government on 30 August 2018 to hand a list of donations to support disaster relief in flood-hit western Japan to Prefectural Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki. A life-size cardboard cutout of Kōsaku Shima was also present for the meeting in the governor’s office. Governor Yuzaki expressed his gratitude for the donation, remarking that although many people may have set sake aside for the moment, enjoying it had contributed to the restoration effort.
Sakurai pointed out that the rebuilding still continues, and he hopes that the funds raised will be used to help people get back to enjoying their everyday lives.
- Original article (Japanese, Sankei News, 30 August 2018)
- Asahi Shuzō, makers of Dassai (Japanese)
- Asahi Shuzō, makers of Dassai (English)