On a trip to Kyoto, liquor wholesaler Motoichi Ozaki had a dream in
which he saw a hawk soaring toward the heavens. The hawk is a powerful image for the Japanese, for its piercing eyes and ability to fly high. When, in 1914, he bought a sake brewery in Yuzukami that was
near bankruptcy, the dream remained in his mind. He decided to sell his sake under the name Tentaka, or "Hawk in the Heavens." Tentaka brewery is nestled in the east end of Nasu Nogahara, in a town called
Yuzukami. Surrounded by rice fields and mountains, the air and water are clean and fresh. The area is surrounded by three flowing rivers and has managed to avoid tourism.
"If it isn't dry, it isn't sake." These words of founder Motoichi Ozaki set the course for the style of sake Tentaka would achieve, and it remains so even today. We try to brew sake that is refreshing to drink,
sake that can be enjoyed each day. Our current president, Munenori Ozaki, adds, "Personally, I want to create sake with a bit of an umami (deliciousness) and a bit of koku (settled earthiness) to it."
The People. When the founder, Motoichi Ozaki, started up the brewery, he would live in the building with the brewers and the sake, keeping as involved as he could in the process. His son, the second in line, would
also constantly check the sake being brewed, and was especially involved in polishing the rice.
Photo: President Ozaki Munenori. Our current president, Munenori Ozaki, is the founder's grandson and the third-generation kuramoto (brewery president). He is active both in the brewery and around the
country, and stays involved in the industry, always seeking to learn more. "One of the joys of drinking sake is comparing it to others, and those who taste it will decide whether or not Tentaka sake is good."
Size and Special Characteristics. Here at Tentaka we brew just under 2000 koku (180 liters per koku), which amounts to about 350,000 1.8-liter bottles. We have no intention of increasing our production, as it is
currently at just the level we want it to be.
Notable Quotes. Eighty percent of our sake is sold here in Tochigi Prefecture. It is brewed with water drawn from an underground stream
that originates in the Yamizo and Nasu mountain ranges.
Toji (Master Brewer)
and Kurabito (Brewery Workers)
(Photo: Toji Sugumachi Kouetsu)
Our toji, Mr. Kouetsu Sugumachi, is of the Nanbu school from Iwate. His precision in brewing our sake comes from his long years of experience and his fine-tuned intuition.
2166 Hiruhata, Otawara City
Tochigi Prefecture, 324-0411
-- 81 is Japan country code
within Japan, dial 0287-98-2107
Web: www.tentaka.co.jp (J)