Takao Nihei’s Pioneering Sake Research
Hawai‘i Herald Columist
In the summer of 1956, having overcome an outbreak of bacterial contamination that threatened to bankrupt the Honolulu Sake Brewery, Takao Nihei planned to return to Japan and take up his post at Kyowa Hakko, a leading pharmaceutical company active in amino acid research. He was 31 years old at the time, with a golden future in front of him. He would continue to research and publish, perhaps becoming the laboratory director of a major brewery, or even the director of the National Research Institute of Brewing. For Nihei-san, the temptation to return to Japan and embark on this wonderful and fulfilling life must have been overwhelming.