Kobe University sake collaboration with Hakutsuru

  • October 11, 2018
  • Info
  • Keywords: Collaborations, Business, Food & drink, Agriculture


Sake success story “Kami no manimani” returns

Hakutsuru junmaishu "Kami no manimani (720ml)" 1,404yen (tax inc.)

Kobe University’s sake “Kami no manimani” is back for a second year! This exclusive junmai-shu sake was developed in collaboration with the established Kobe brewery Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. Following last year’s positive reception, the team were given the green light to continue with a second year of production. The creators hope that this project will spark interest in Kobe’s traditional industry of sake production and help to spread the word about the city’s many attractions.

The sake can be purchased on campus at the Graduate School of Intercultural Studies Co-op store and the BEL BOX store (2F of the Academia Hall for Social Sciences). It is also available from Hakutsuru Sake stores (Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum and Hakutsuru Mikage MUSE), and it can be pre-ordered from the Hakutsuru online store. The team is asking local izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) to stock “Kami no manimani” around the Hankyu Rokko and JR Rokkomichi stations – watch this space.

Comments from Associate Professor Masanori Yamasaki
(Food Resources Education and Research Center, Graduate School of Agriculture Science)

In this collaborative project we were very particular about the key ingredient for sake brewing: rice. This sake was created using two rice cultivars: “Hakutsurunishiki”, a sake-rice developed independently over 10 years by Hakutsuru, and “Nikomaru”, a rice grown by the Food Resources Education and Research Center.

Hakutsurunishiki” is a sibling of the famous sake-rice “Yamadanishiki”, and we used it for the rice malt, an important part of the brewing process. For the yeast we used “Nikomaru”, a high-yield cultivar, resistant to summer heat and with a reliable delicious flavor.

As well as enjoying sake at room temperature and chilled, we’re about to enter the season for hot sake (atsukan).  For “Kami no manimani” I recommend a heated temperature of 55 degrees Celsius (tobikirikan). This sake can accompany any cuisine, and it tastes surprisingly good with bitter chocolate.

On October 13 (Saturday) an open brewery event will take place at the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, and students involved in the sake development will attend to promote “Kami no manimani”. The event will also include a tasting session and sales of “Kami no manimani” – sake fans in the area should take a look.

More about Kobe University and sake

As well as their geographical closeness, Kobe University and Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. have strong ties thanks to the many alumni and graduate students working at Hakutsuru. Kobe’s Nada district is the number one sake location in Japan, and this collaborative project was born from Kobe University and Hakutsuru’s mutual desire to tell people more about what Kobe has to offer. We hope that “Kami no manimani” will attract the younger generation’s interest in Kobe’s traditional sake industry, as well as providing a new way to promote Kobe in Japan and overseas.

The name “Kami no manimani” was suggested by the student team, and comes from an ancient poem by Japanese “god of learning” Sugawara no Michizane. It expresses the students’ wishes that everyone who drinks this sake will also receive the student’s enthusiasm for their creation. They included the Chinese character kami (神) for its links with Kobe University (神戸大学).

The student team from the Faculty of Agriculture and Graduate School of Agricultural Science research the cultivation of rice and other plants as part of their daily studies. They were actively involved in the sake development project from step one, taking a study trip to observe the sake-making process, and coming up with the concept, a suitable label design, and a name.


(Associate Professor Masanori Yamasaki,
Food Resources Education and Research Center,
Graduate School of Agricultural Science)

Editor’s note: You can read more about the background of this project and Kobe University’s new sake-focused curriculum in Issue 5 of Kobe University magazine “Kaze”.