Sakiyama Distillery

Common name: 
Sakiyama Distillery
751 Aza Igei, Kin Town, Kunigami-gun
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This distillery, with a history of nearly 100 years, uses soft water from the Onna Mountains around the famous rice production center of Kin to produce quality liquor.

This long-established distillery was founded in Shuri in 1905. It restarted operations as a public distillery during the Okinawa occupation. Its current president is the fourth generation. Shortly after the war, the distillery moved to Igei, a rare district blessed with soft water, whereas hard water is the norm in Okinawa. The meeting of the distillery, which has maintained traditional awamori production methods, and the natural water in the town resulted in production of sweet, mellow, savory awamori.
The Matsufuji brand takes its name from the second owner, Kisho Sakiyama , and his wife, Fujiko. It is a popular brand among awamori experts, and they constantly come from all over the prefecture to purchase it. The present owner, Kazuaki Sakiyama, majored in Brewing at the Tokyo University of Agriculture, and he has been involved in making awamori ever since. Kazuaki says that rice and water are indispensable for the production of awamori. But since most producers use the same kind of rice, it's the water that gives shape to all the different varieties of awamori produced in the prefecture. Just after the war, distillers made awamori from any ingredient that contained sugar, such as chocolate and candy obtained from U.S. soldiers, dried apples and grapes. That was a time when no one could afford to stop and think of what really defined awamori. When you taste Matsufuji, which has been matured for five years, you cannot help thinking of its manufacturers who have zealously protected the traditional production methods despite all the years of hardship. The five-year-old awamori has been made possible by the rich and vast natural blessings of the Onna Mountains. Its mellow texture perfectly reflects the natural landscape.