The fact that one could be born into a poor farming family and still be “in charge” of a local brewery as a “toji” on the side…!
Although sake brewing had been practiced in the Nanbu domain since before the Edo period, it was not beyond the realm of home brewing.
Later, around 1606, the Murai and Ono clans, who were the official merchants of the Nanbu domain, brought the method of mass brewing barrels from Kamigata.
With the backing of the Nanbu clan, full-scale production of clan brewed sake began under Morioka Castle.
The Nanbu Toji’s sake brewing techniques were divided between two types of technicians, the full-time toji and the farmer toji, and the brewery brought the two together to improve their skills.
The clan, merchants, and farmers worked together on this project to successfully produce sake in the territory. The number of sake breweries in the domain increased rapidly and even received orders from Edo (now Tokyo).
Even those born into poor farming families were able to become “managers” of local sake breweries through the sideline job of “toji.
The skills of the Nanbu Toji spread outside the region, especially to the Sendai clan, where many Toji visited and engaged in cultural exchange.
During the Meiji period (1868-1912), the Nanbu Toji technique was further developed and the Nanbu Toji became more organized. The Nanbu Toji formed one of the largest schools in Japan.
During the Meiji period, the government increased taxes on sake and modernized the sake brewing industry, and the Nanbu Toji responded accordingly.
The Nanbu Toji Association was formed by the Nanbu Toji themselves to organize sake brewing employees and improve their skills.
Nanbu Touji Toji Tradition Hall | View [Hanamaki Tourism Association Official Website] (kanko-hanamaki.ne.jp)
The Nanbu Touji tradition continued after the Showa period (1926-1989), and the Nanbu Touji Association was established.
The number of members increased temporarily, but is now on the decline. Nanbu Toji are distributed throughout the country, and their skills are improved through sake brewing workshops and sake competitions.
Thus, the Nanbu Toji have established a long tradition of sake brewing, and have improved and developed their skills through cooperation with local communities.
＃Nambutoji ＃fermentationsommelier #Sakebrew #Iwate #Tojidirector