Tsukazan Distillery & Co.

Common name: 
Tsukazan Distillery
447 Nago, Nago City
Tsukazan Distillery & Co.
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The kusu known by the brand name Kokka is the pride of Kunigami-gun. Kokka is nurtured inside a traditional red-brick building, silently awaiting its time of full maturity.

When it began operations in 1927, Tsukazan Distillery & Co. was the first distillery to be founded in Nago in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa. Its awamori has been greatly loved by the people of Nago as their only local brand since its foundation.

The distillery is located in the central district of Nago city. Its red-brick roof and chimney are typical of Okinawan architecture. The founder's eldest son died in World War Two, and his best friend, Tomonobu Zukeyama, took over. He is still the owner today. After the war, the distillery was used to bake bread for the U.S. Army, and it was also briefly occupied by people in the neighborhood who had lost their homes. In other words, the distillery followed the changing times and continued to watch over the local people.
The distillery temporarily halted production of awamori in 1982 following the death of its master distiller, but operations resumed in 1991. The owner and his two employees are keeping the tradition and the taste alive. Because their aim is to produce as much as three people can manage following the traditional techniques, preparations for the distillation process take place only twice a month. They only sell the hand-produced kusu called Kokka.
Kokka was named in the hope it would shine radiantly in the Kunigami local area. The distilled liquor has a splendid aroma and a rich taste. The current president says in retrospect that he has now in fact been making awamori longer than his predecessor did. The distillery remains as it was before the war. There is no doubt that it will continue to produce awamori reminiscent of Okinawa's halcyon days for many years to come.