Kura – How are they doing after the triple whammy?

Now that it has been a couple of weeks since the devastating events, the earthquake and tsunami the hit Japan on Friday afternoon of March 11th and the ongoing situation with the nuclear reactors, I think that it is worth looking at what we know.

John has been updating this page by adding the updates to the bottom of the page. He includes information on more than 10 Prefectures and 50 kura. It seems that among all the destruction only one death is recorded. This is a true blessing.

While I don’t see Momokawa Brewing, Inc of Aomori listed in John’s account, I have heard from SakeOne that Momokawa, all their people and the brewery itself are fine.

Suisen Sake Brewery has been completely lost but, Yasuhiko Konno the owner vows to rebuild. This article, now removed, discusses Suisen’s situation. When written about a week ago there were still 11 employees missing.

The Nanbubijin brewery has been running a daily blog (for those who read Japanese) in which  Kosuke Kuji writes the concerned followers. I copied it here from John’s page above to ensure you get Kosuke-san’s message:

The below is from the Nanbubijin blog, from Kosuke Kuji, and is a very loose translation of a moving letter from him.
March 21 


Thanks to all that expressed their concern after the 3/11 earthquake. Most of the damage  in Iwate was near the sea. There was great damage, loss of life, and many are still missing. We are in Ninohe Village, one mountain in from the water, and were safe from the tsunami. But the strong earthquake crumbled part of our old kura and part of the old chimney tumbled too. Fortunately, no one was injured.

However, in order to repair the brewery, and since there is not much gasoline or oil, we have to stop brewing at times and it is difficult to predict how things will go. Having said that, we will not lose to even this unprecedented natural disaster, and we want to overcome it and recover.

For the time being, no one in this area feels like drinking sake. To avoid secondary economic damage, we want to earnestly ask everyone around the country and in other countries to eat and drink products from the Tohoku region. That is the most supportive thing you can do for us.

We of the Tohoku region will not lose to this. We absolutely will prevail. We will rise again like a phoenix, so please support us.

Kosuke Kuji


As before I would like to urge you to consider donating to help Japan in this time of tragedy. Three outstanding organizations which will ensure your donations will be used well are:

SakeSamurai which will use the donations for support of brewers.

Mercycorps is an outstanding NGO that is very efficient with your money.

Redcross, well, one of the biggest aid organization working to assist Japan.


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