Yoneshima Distillery

Common name: 
Yoneshima Distillery
Founded: 
1948
Address: 
499 Ota, Kumejima Town, Shimajiri-gun
Tel: 
098-985-2326
Fax: 
098-985-2326
Yoneshima Distillery
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A deep attachment to the policy of only shipping out after one year of maturing brings out the mellow aroma and flavor.

The tradition of extensive cultivation of rice goes back longer on Kumejima ('Kume Island'), the fourth largest island in Okinawa, than on any of the other islands. Kumejima is known for its beautiful scenery and traditional streets and houses, which have survived because the island was fortunate to escape damage during World War II. Located in a quiet village near the clear water of the Shirase River, famous for the Kumejima fireflies, the Yoneshima distillery is a family-operated business now in its third generation. The stream water is used to produce awamori.
According to the third owner, Hiroshi Taba, 'it is sold only when it becomes tasty, after maturing in a leisurely way'. Not wanting his products to be similar to any other ordinary ones, he sticks to the policy of storing even regular brands for at least one year before they are bottled. The regular awamori is rich and mellow, with the grace of kusu. Kumejima, a brand particularly popular among the local people, was originally sold under the name of Komeshima ('Rice Island') when the company was established in 1948. Although the name at the time reflected the rice production of the island, it was changed 20 years ago to Kumejima to represent the beautiful natural surroundings: the houses with their red roof tiles; streets lined with flowers; and the traditional techniques of Kumejima pongee, which is said to be the origin of tsumugi, the weaving of silk thread spun from waste cocoons. The beauty of the island represented by Kumejima is not that of a typical commercialized resort but something else. The fourth generation distiller, who has already started his training at the distillery, is sure to succeed to the traditional flavor and preserve it with care.