Museum of Sake Journal Summer 2015 - Page 9

WHO ARE THE SAKE SAMURAI? ‘Sake Samurai’ is the title given by the Sake Samurai Association, a junior council of the Japan Sake Brewers Association, to award individuals for their outstanding contribution to the understanding, appreciation or promotion of sake. The recipients of these titles commit to the upholding of three tenets: • Love both sake and the beautiful culture of Japan. • Strive to gain a deeper understanding of sake culture and work on behalf of its further development. • Spread the word about Japanese sake around the world with pride and passion. More than 50 Sake Samurai are awarded each year in Kyoto, and the inaugurators include international individuals in various industry backgrounds. The Sake Samurai Association is also linked to one of the most influential wine competitions, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) by setting up the sake category in 2006. TOSHIE HIRAIDE SAKE SAMURAI COORDINATOR “My dream was for sake to be in the limelight internationally”, says Toshie Hiraide, whose title is unique in this world: Sake Samurai Coordinator. She started her work with the Sake Samurai Association right after its launch in 2005 with brewery members of a junior council of the Japan Sake Brewers Association. Since then, for the past ten years she has been devoting herself to enhance the value of Sake Samurai and widen their activities. “The reason why my title is ‘Sake Samurai Coordinator’ is quite random; the former chairman Mr. Saura (president of Urakasumi sake) came up with the idea when he saw her business cards from her previous work at Japan Airlines as ‘Cabin Coordinator’.” Toshie speaks with a gentle smile on her face. We ask her about the milestones over the past decade. 平出淑恵(ひらいで としえ) 酒サムライコーディネーター 「ワインの檜舞台に日本酒を立たせたかった」—平出淑恵さんの 肩書きは、恐らくこの世に一人しかいないであろう「酒サムライコ ーディネーター」だ。日本酒造青年協議会の会員蔵元によって「酒 サムライ」が結成されたのが2004 年。その直後からお手伝いを 始め、この10年に渡り酒サムライの価値を高め、その活動の枠を 広げてきた。「コーディネーターという肩書きがついたのも、当時 の会長の佐浦さん(浦霞社長)が私の名刺を作る際、前職のJALの 名刺にあった『キャビンコーディネーター』という肩書きを見て『 酒サムライコーディネーターでいこう』という思いつきだったんで す」と笑顔で語る淑恵さん。今年10周年という契機を迎え、進化 し続ける酒サムライ事業のこれまでの軌跡について話を伺った。 最初の数年は 『酒サムライ』という肩書きを持つ事のステータス を、いかに可視化していけるか、会員蔵元さんと常に手探りでし た。」日本酒文化を国内外で発信している方々に感謝をこめて、と “The first several years it was an adventure for me and member brewers to create and visualise the right status for Sake Samurai.” It has started off with acknowledging the individuals who transmit the sake culture in and outside of Japan in the daily life, with a hope to develop sake communities around the world - the sake market abroad only made up 2% of Japanese market at that time. いう意味合いで始まった酒サムライの叙任。まだ2%にも満たない 発展途上の日本酒の海外市場で、日本酒の輪を広げていきたい、そ んな思いもあったという。 MUSEUM OF SAKE JOURNAL 9