Umenishiki was founded in 1872 in Kawanoe – current Shikokuchūō, the instigator of the hand-crafted sake boom – in Ehime prefecture. The town is blessed with pure water and is famous for its rice paper. It is surrounded by the inland sea and the highest peaks of the Shikoku mountain range. Talented chief brewer Takaji Ase saw his efforts rewarded in 1965, when Umenishiki won the first of 12 consecutive gold medals in the Annual National Sake Competition in Japan. The brewery became famous nationwide. Fukuhei Yamane, who inherited the brewing technique from Tokaji Ase, won many prizes as the leading brewer. The consistent quality of Umenishiki’s sake gave them their reputation as a top producer.