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Value Press has a report on a recently released sake where the story is really about the label – designed by Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki.

The Toshimaya Juemon sake celebrates the opening of the Studio Ghibli/Toshio Suzuki event Kotoba no Mahōten (言葉の魔法展, Exhibition on the Magic of Words), held at the 21st Century Museum of Modern Art in Kanazawa.

Toshimaya is a venerable sake retailer, founded in 1596, also known as the originator of shirozake (白酒, sweet “white sake” drunk on the Doll’s Festival in March). The label is lettered by Suzuki, with the traditional red stamp based on Totoro by fellow Ghibli member Hayao Miyazki.

The junmai ginjō was brewed by hand, and has a particularly rich flavour and short finish. Although made to commemorate the exhibition in Kanazawa, the sake went on sale at the Ōedo Tokyo Suina Sakezukuri (大江戸 東京 粋な酒祭り, “Great Edo Tokyo Sublime Sake Brewing”) “Feel the Deep Tokyo” event held on 28 July 2018 by the Omotenashi Sakejo-no-Kai (Abbreviated version of 一般社団法人日本のSAKEとWINEを愛する女性の会, “General Incorporated Association of Ladies who Love Japanese SAKE and WINE”?). [It’s almost as bad as a book title.] It will be on sale in Toshimaya’s store and on their site the following day, and then be released to other retailers.

The concept for the product is an Edo-period local Tokyo sake that celebrates the sincere approach to creation shared by Toshimaya and Studio Ghibli. Production is limited to 2,000 bottles, and 720 ml will cost JPY 1,900 before tax (JPY 2,052 after tax). The sake is made with kōjimai polished to 55% and kakemai polished to 60%, has an alcohol content of 17-18%, and a nihonshudo of +3.5.

[Things that struck me while looking at various pages related to the article: the promotional pictures for the Ghibli exhibition show Suzuki smoking, which you almost never see in that kind of photo these days. And the photos on the Omotenashi Sakejo-no-Kai site heavily feature foreigners, which is also something I don’t often see.]