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Mutemuka Shuzō

prefecture: Kochi

Nestled in the heart of Shimanto, with its rich natural bounty and community spirit, stands Mutemuka Brewery, a testament to the art of sake-making since its inception in 1893. This venerable establishment, founded in the 26th year of the Meiji period, has long been sustained by the area's vast natural resources and the warmth of its people. Mutemuka, meaning "without rank or decoration", embodies a philosophy deeply rooted in simplicity and a sincere embrace of nature's gifts. This ethos is reflected in their commitment to producing sake that mirrors the everyday rice consumed by locals, forging a deep connection with the community.

Their approach to sake brewing is defined by three core practices:

1. Rice Farming with a Conscience: Understanding that the soul of sake lies in the quality of its rice, Mutemuka collaborates closely with local farmers. They champion organic, chemical-free cultivation, using organic fertilizers and paper mulch. This labor-intensive process enhances the rice's quality, ensuring that each bottle of sake is an epitome of perfection.

2. Eco-Friendly Paper Mulch Cultivation: This innovative method involves covering rice fields with organic paper, allowing the rice to grow through designated openings. This technique eliminates the need for harmful herbicides and shows Mutemuka's dedication to eco-friendly practices. The paper, integrating with the soil post-harvest, underscores their commitment to environmental sustainability.

3. Recycling for Sustainability: The draff from their Kuri Shochu brewing process is repurposed as organic fertilizer, contributing to a sustainable cycle that benefits both the rice fields and the environment. This practice exemplifies their philosophy of maintaining a harmonious balance with nature.

Nestled by the pristine Shimanto River, known as Japan's last crystal-clear stream, Mutemuka Brewery is more than a sake producer; it's a custodian of local traditions, respecting both the people and the planet. Their guiding principles - humility, naturalness, and a sincere heart - resonate through each bottle of sake they craft. As you savor Mutemuka's sake, you're not just enjoying a drink, but a piece of the local heritage, a tribute to the land and its people, nurtured with care and gratitude.