“Sake Makes People Grow Up”
Naruto no Imoya、 which looks down on the city of Naruto from atop the slightly elevated industrial area where it is built、 is a brewery that began with a cold start、 something extremely rare in this industry. It seems that they are the first brewery in 65 years to be granted the right to brew sake using only materials produced in Naruto City. They are a company that initially became famous making processed foods、 such as freeze-dried candied sweet potatoes and potato paste、 from the local sweet potatoes called “Naruto kintoki.” They are now working on health foods made from Naruto kintoki and developing a “potato vinegar” that does not turn to black vinegar.
Mr. Arai、 the production director says that they are just in their second year of their new endeavor of making shochu. Coming from Tokushima City、 he initially had no ties whatsoever to brewing、 but came into the company of his wife’s father upon marrying and was entrusted with making the alcohol there. So he tells us brightly at the age of 29. He continues on with a smile that though he used to commute to school while sporting a Mohawk、 his life turned around 180 degrees when karma started him down this road、 and now he can’t help it、 but he really enjoys brewing alcohol.
His other hobby outside of work is raising his children. He is blessed with two wonderful children (4 and 3 years old)、 and on days off he takes them out to the suburbs of Naruto、 where there is still plenty of nature around. There they enjoy such things as fishing for medaka (killifish) and dojo (loach)、 or catching beetles. He also has one other reason for living. “Doing my best to reach out a hand to help these young、 innocent kids – it feels just like making sake. It surprises me to think how much I have changed through doing this job.” So says the young father whose impression makes you believe that he really will do an excellent job in both raising children and making shochu.
「The natural beauty of the sea near Naruto facing the hill where the factory is located.」
The natural beauty of the sea near Naruto facing the hill where the factory is located.
「A rock at the entrance to the brewery in which the name of the company is engraved.」
A rock at the entrance to the brewery in which the name of the company is engraved.
「Mr. Arii hard at work. It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago he was someone in Tokushima who was scary enough to silence crying children.」
Mr. Arii hard at work. It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago he was someone in Tokushima who was scary enough to silence crying children.