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Straight from the Origin

Origin Sake is a website and blog dedicated to the wonderful Japanese beverage sake. Over the coming months and years, I will be peeking through the front door of the industry in order to provide reviews, recommendations, and general knowledge regarding this well known, but often misunderstood, piece of Japanese culture. Origin Sake will feature such things as production methods, provide insight into the various breweries (kura) currently making sake, and introduce some of the wonderful places where one can enjoy and appreciate Japan’s national beverage. As I am myself both a resident of Japan and sake brewer, I am lucky enough to be able to visit some of these kura, speak directly to the people responsible for making and promoting sake, and visit some of the best drinking spots that are in abundance throughout the country. Therefore, this website is for anyone with an interest in learning about sake directly from the Origin.

About Author

Andrew Russell

Author of Origin Sake

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Having long held an interest in Japanese history and culture, I decided back in 2011 to bring an end to a career spanning over twelve years in the luxury car sector and instead embark on an adventure living in Japan. My experiences during this time only deepened my interest in what is a facinating and multifaceted country, and on my return to the UK I immediately enrolled at Edinburgh University where I would later received an MA Honours in Japanese Studies. My compulsary year abroad as part of my study would again lead me to the shores of Japan, during which time I was finally introduced to the amazing world of sake. So fascinated by the many mysteries that I uncovered, I decided to write my final year's dissertation on the potential future of the sake industry.

This resulted in me visiting several breweries in Okayama prefecture where I had the chance to talk directly with some of the incredibly talented men and women working in the industry today. Having then graduated in 2016, I once again relocated to Japan where I myself took up a position working in a small brewery on the outskirts of Okayama prefecture. Having now fully committed myself to discovering the many mysteries of sake, I hope that I can now somehow play a small role in introducing this wonderful piece of Japanese culture to others, and contribute to the wellbeing of the industry that has given me so much enjoyment.      


Origin Sake would like to thank the following individuals and companies who have in some way or another helped with the making of this website. Without the wisdom, inspiration and general support that I have received over the years the making of this website would not have been possible.  



Daishichi Sake Brewery (大七酒造)

Juhachi Zakari Shuzo (十八盛酒造)

Imada Shuzo Honten (今田酒造本店)

John Gauntner

Keizo Ishia

Miho Imada

Ichiro Hiramatsu

Philip Harper

Training, Certifications and Affiliations

MA Honours in Japanese Studies from Edinburgh University

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits

Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Ambassador

Kurabito for Juhachi Zakari Shuzo (Previous)

Kurabito for Imada Shuzo Honten (Current)

Member of the Hiroshima Toji Association

Support Origin Sake

Origin Sake is a fully independant website committed to delivering  educational content regarding Japan's national beverage. If you find the site useful or enjoyable, please consider making a small donation at my Buymeacoffee page. This helps me create more frequent, higher quality content, and just a small donation goes a long way.

Many Thanks



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