Noto Peninsula

As the dust starts to settle (metaphorically and in a very real sense) after the New Year’s Day earthquake on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, more details are emerging about the extent of damage to sake breweries on the peninsula and in the surrounding region, and it looks about as good as you might imagine. 

(Photo of the Noto Peninsula taken in November 2019 by 雷太)

One valuable source of information is Instagram user starboyobrats, aka Hoshitaro, who was studying sake brewing in Noto with the intention of starting to brew in Italy. He is still posting updates, most in Japanese, but including many photos showing the extent of damage on the peninsula.

He also goes through all of the breweries actually in the Noto Peninsula, and it’s a very sad state of affairs:

  • Matsunami Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Sakurada Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Tsuruno Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Hiyoshi Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Nakashima Shuzo: Completely destroyed
  • Sogen Shuzo: Landslide damage
  • Kazuma Shuzo: Flooded by tsunami
  • Shimizu Shuzo: Partially destroyed
  • Hakuto Shuzo: Partially destroyed
  • Nakano Shuzo (Monzen): Partially destroyed
  • Nakano Shuzo (Wajima): Partially destroyed

More information has also come from the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS). If you don’t know who they are already, they are the national level of the brewers’ associations you find throughout Japan at prefectural and more local levels. They are also appealing for donations, which they will distribute to affected breweries – their members – on the basis of need. Importantly, they have taken a wider view of where damage has occurred as they are receiving information from member breweries all over the country, not just Noto or Ishikawa Prefecture, as well as surveying news reports and social media.

Their damage report is as follows:

  • Ishikawa Prefecture
    • Reports of damage from 24 out of 33 members
    • 8 cases of destruction (breweries, offices, homes, stores, etc.).
    • 2 cases with severe damage.
    • No reported human casualties at the moment.
    • Damage includes collapsed chimneys, crumbling walls and roofs, spilled sake from tanks, damage to bottled sake, and destruction of vehicles.
    • The 10 sake breweries in the Noto peninsula will not be able to produce or distribute sake for some time.
    • The offices of the Ishikawa Sake Makers’ Association have also suffered damage, such as water leaks and falling ceilings.
    • Full assessment is hindered due to evacuations and transport disruption.
  • Toyama Prefecture
    • Reports of damage from 3 out of 19 members.
    • No reported human casualties.
    • Damage includes crumbling walls and roofs, spilled sake from tanks, and damaged products.
  • Fukui Prefecture
    • Reports of damage from 2 out of 28 members.
    • No reported human casualties.
    • Minor damage was reported, such as brewery walls partially crumbling.
  • Niigata Prefecture
    • Reports of damage from 29 out of 89 members.
    • No reported human casualties.
    • Damage includes destruction of buildings, overturned brewing machinery, loss from tanks, damage to bottled sake, crumbling walls and roofs, and cracked tanks.
  • Nagano Prefecture
    • Reports of damage from 1 out of 80 members (with voting rights).
    • No reported human casualties.
    • Damage includes loss from tanks and displaced piping.
    • Damage assessment in progress.
  • Noto Toji Guild
    • The Noto district is famous as the home base of our Toji (Brewmaster) and Kurabito (brewery workers). They and their families are all safe, but houses suffered serious damage from the earthquake and tsunami.

So as you can see, there was also substantial damage in Niigata Prefecture, and as far as Nagano Prefecture.

If you can donate

The Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) are accepting donations that they will distribute to breweries according to need, and I trust them to have good information and talk to the breweries about what they need.

Bank: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Hibiya Branch
SWIFT code: SMBCJPJT (8 characters) / SMBCJPJTXXX (11 characters)
Beneficiary Account Number: 8646691
Chairman Haruhiko Okura
(Nihonshuzou Kumiai Chuoukai, Gienkin-kuchi, Kaichou Okura Haruhiko)
Address: 1-6-15 Nishishimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0003 JAPAN

Download this form if you want a receipt for your donation.

Another option, promoted by Hoshitaro, is to donate directly to the Ishikawa Brewers’ Association, which covers the devasted Noto Peninsula.

SWIFT code: HKOKJPJT (8 characters) / HKOKJPJTXXX (11 characters)
Account no.: 119-0036977
Address: 2-13-33, Motomachi, Kanazawa,Ishikawa, 920-0842, Japan




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