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Awamori-no-hi held on Nov. 1

Date Posted: 1999-11-10

November 1st was designated as the Awamori (Okinawan Sake) Day. Okinawa Prefecture Brewery Association Union designated this day in 1989. The reason of their decision to set the date Nov. 1st as Awamori-no-hi is because it is said to be the best season to taste the new brew that has been stocked from August or September. Awamori, an Okinawan special spirit, was first imported from a country named Siam (Thailand) in the beginning of 15th century. Awamori was first brewed in Okinawa around 1470. It was used during receptions for Chinese envoys and sent as presents to the Shogun in mainland Japan.

Awamori used to be brewed by just a few people in Okinawa because the government of Ryukyu Kingdom determined to put a limit on Awamori brewers after 1667. After that, the brewing of Awamori was limited only to the people from 40 families in Torihori, Akata and Sakiyama in Shuri area. The descendants of these families still are the foremost brewers of Awamori in Okinawa.

The name Awamori is believed have its roots in the method of measuring alcohol percentage in sake, called “Amuri”. In the old days, the brewery measured the percentage of alcohol by pouring sake into a bowl from high up. The brewers believed that when Awamori became foamy, the degree of alcohol became higher. Later, the name of the measuring method transferred to the name of the sake itself.

Okinawa Prefecture Brewery Association is currently conducting an Awamori Campaign including a dawing with the first-prize winner receiving a tour to Korea. The second-prize winner will get a big jar of Awamori. On every bottle of Awamori on sale during the campaign, there is a seal. Contestants should glue two seals on exclusive postcards for the campaign and send them to the Prefecture Brewery Association by December 29th, with the name, address, telephone number, age and sex.

The address to the Awamori Brewery Association is
Okinawa 900-0001
2-8-9, Minato-machi, Naha City
attn: Awamori Campaign

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