After receiving a nice email from my friend, Daimon-san (owner and head brewer at Daimon Sake Brewery), who encouraged me to update the Sake Chronicles, I adding my first entry in quite some time. My sincere and deepest apologies to anyone who may have been tuning in periodically to read about my adventures.
Without getting into the specifics, I had a very interesting first winter working full-time as a kura-bito (brewery staff). It was at times grueling work, as most days it was a 6am to 6pm work day, which was then followed by several hours of scientific editing at home, but I learned a lot about the sake brewery process, substantially improved my Japanese, and received more media attention in a 4-month span than I ever have in my life. It was also the first time I have worked for 36 hours straight! A 12-hour shift at the brewery, followed by 12 hours of editing to meet a deadline, and then back to the brewery for another 12-hour shift. Sound fun? It wasn’t! So yes, it was a tough winter, but a memorable one.
It is now summer here in Saku, Nagano, and rice-planting season is well underway. As I also want to learn how to grow rice, I do not pass up opportunities to get my feet wet, literally, by helping with planting. Last weekend I helped a husband and wife plant their rice paddy near my apartment, and today, I was part of large crew planting sake rice for a local brewery. Hand-planting rice is sure hard on the back, but is a great sense of accomplishment looking over the planted paddy and seeing all the little plants in neat rows, half-submerged in water, on their way to becoming tall plants.
Well, that is short update for now, I will update again with more news sooner than later. And if you read this Daimon-san, sorry for not posting sooner, but thanks for the encouragement!