Musumi was established in 1662 in Suwa, a highland basin surrounded by the Yatsugatake “Eight Peaks” Range, Mount Tateshina, and the Kirigamine Highlands. It is located in the Shinshu region – prefecture of Nagano – which enjoys clean air, pure water, and long cold winters. Originally, the Miyasaka family served the Suwa lords who ruled this area in ancient times. However, following years of strife between the Suwa clan and warlords Takeda Shingen and Oda Nobunaga during the Warring States period (16th century), the Miyasakas’ gave up swords and turned to sake making. They began using the name “Masumi” for their sake at the end of the Edo period (1603-1867). Masumi, which means transparency or truth, is the name of a 8th century bronze mirror kept at the Suwa Taisha shinto shrine. Since the Miyasakas’ had provided the shrine with sake for centuries, it was only fitting that their sake took the name of the shrine’s “Masumi Mirror.”
Masumi is renowned for its original, superior sake yeast, “Kyotai #7”. In 1946, Masumi swept the top awards at the regional and national sake appraisals, which got the attention of the brewing institute’s yeast scientist, Dr. Shoichi Yamada. Dr. Yamada visited the brewery and confirmed the presence of a very fine yeast in the fermentation tanks. “Brewing Association Yeast Number Seven” soon became the favorite of brewers across the nation and remains even today the most widely used sake yeast in the world. The number seven in use today has a different character than the original yeast discovered back in the forties. The original number seven had a brilliant, fruity fragrance known as “ginjo fragrance.” Today’s number seven is milder, and strikes a better balance between aroma and flavor. One could say it produces a more mature, grown-up sake than in its youth.
Sustainability: “Depletion of natural resources, pollution, toxic waste… solving such global problems may seem beyond our reach, but we strive to be kind to the environment and to our customers. Here are some small steps we’ve taken:
– Reduce energy consumption and lower emissions.
– Simplify product packaging to reduce waste.
– Use 100% of our rice flour—return the rough flour to farmers for feed and fertilizer, make the fine flour into the shochu spirit base of our fruit liquors.
– Print Braille on all our bottles and gift boxes to guide the visually impaired.”