Chris Pearce
Hawai‘i Herald Columist

Editor’s note: With interest in sake culture and consumption continuing to grow in Hawai‘i and around the world, we are happy to announce the revival of Kokusai Sake Kai co-founder Chris Pearce’s thoroughly researched and well-written columns, “Sake no Monogatari,” (“Tales from the Sake World”) on sake history and culture in the Herald. We are especially pleased to relaunch the column with a tribute to one of Hawai‘i’s enduring sake heroes, Takao Nihei.

Earlier this month, friends and family gathered at the Izumo Taishakyo shrine near Honolulu’s Chinatown to honor the memory of Takao Nihei, former brewer and vice president of the Honolulu Sake Brewery, as well as the guiding light for generations of Hawai‘i sake lovers. Bishop Daiya Amano reminded us that when we die, our souls depart for the afterlife. Although we cannot detect those in the other world, they can hear our prayers. Clapping our hands four times and bowing, we paid our respects to the man who not only singlehandedly preserved Hawai‘i’s sake heritage, but also pioneered new techniques that changed the way sake is made in Japan.

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