You may be more interested in what’s in the bottle, but the Fashionsnap site reports on sake brewery Sawanotsuru teaming up with a number of Japanese artists in a project to create eye-catching labels.

14 artists including shoe designer Yasuhiro Mihara, illustrator Hiroshi Nagai and painter Hiro Sugiyama were commissioned by Sawanotsuru to work on The Art Label Sake Project to be exhibited at the Isetan department store in Shinjuku from 15 January to 4 February 2020.

Sawanotsuru was founded in 1717 in the legendary sake-making district of Nada (present-day Kobe). The first generation brewer was a rice dealer, so they adopted the komejirushi [※, “rice mark”] as their corporate logo.

They recently collaborated with engine and vehicle manufacturer Yanmar to develop and grow new sake rice varieties using Yanmar’s agricultural expertise, and produce new sake under the “X-series” banner with their over 300 years experience in sake brewing. Sawanotsuru also purse new challenges, such as helping Sapporo Odori High School work towards their sustainable development goals (SDGs) by developing a daiginjō amazake with honey from the school’s bee-keeping project.

The artists and businesses taking part in the project, including graphic artist Akira (Aquirax) Uno, Danté Carver, Toyameg, and Fukuoka shop NO COFFEE, resonated with Sawanotsuru’s spirit of inventiveness.

Limited numbers of 720 ml bottles of junmaishu Yamada Nishiki ART LABEL will be available for JPY 11,000 on the first basement level of Isetan Shinjuku while the exhibition runs. The bottles will be on display on the second floor of the mens’ building in the ART UP gallery space alongside artworks for sale.


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