Photo: Pakutaso

Many young Japanese people aren’t drinking sake these days

By Katie Pask, SoraNews24

More commonly known in Japan as nihonshu, sake is the iconic Japanese beverage made from fermented rice, known and loved all over the world. So popular is the alcoholic drink that even internationally renowned musicians like Ed Sheeran and Foo Fighters collaborated with an esteemed Japanese breweries to make their own sake.

In fact, the 180-year-old brewery that the Foo Fighters collaborated with, the Tatenokawa sake brewery in Yamagata Prefecture, recently did an independent study that looked into the sake drinking habits of young Japanese people.

The survey asked 10,000 men and women ranging in age between their 20s and 60s how often they drank sake. Out of those who responded in their twenties or thirties, 28 percent said they had not drunk sake for over a year, and 42 percent responded saying they’d never drunk sake before, meaning 70 percent of young people surveyed had not had any sake in over a year.

Photo: Pakutaso

The survey also revealed a gender discrepancy, with 74 percent of all women surveyed having not drunk any sake for over a year. Women also tended to prefer drinking sake with family or friends, while more male respondents said they drank sake alone. With the coronavirus making it difficult for people to have big drinking parties, the Tatenokawa brewery is concerned that this may result in less women drinking sake in the future.

Netizens seemed mostly unsurprised by the results of the survey, with many mulling over the reasons behind sake’s apparent fading popularity.

“Sake always gives me really bad hangovers, even if I drink just a little bit.”

“Decent sake is expensive. Young people might not be drinking it because it’s just too expensive.”

“Lots of people these days just don’t drink alcohol, period. It’s not so much ‘I don’t drink sake’ as ‘I don’t drink at all’.”

“I stick to drinking spirits. It seems healthier somehow.”

“I drink sake at work parties, but I’d never drink it if I had to choose.”

The brewery hopes the results of the survey can be used to think of new ways to enjoy sake moving forward. We don’t claim to be sake experts, but we’d recommend mixing some sake with other popular products — like Kit Kats, for example.

Source: Japan Agricultural News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japan has new sake Kit Kats produced by a 393-year-old Hyogo sake brewer

-- Foo Fighters unveil an exclusive new Japanese sake

-- New Ume Sake Japanese Kit Kat features the flavour of traditional plum wine…with a twist

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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That's too bad, pre-pandemic it was definitely one of my favourite things to drink. There is a really wide variety and it matches certain Japanese foods extremely well. Used to frequently go to a local nihonshu specialty place near my old flat after work.

I do wonder how much it is just people not drinking as much because of the pandemic though. I think there are a fair number of people who, like me, don't particularly enjoy drinking at home. Which means we simply have not really drank anything for the past three or so years.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I am a very big fan of Nihonshu.

I do not know how many different kinds of Nihonshu I drank since I am living Japan.

I went to many different Sake breweries and I still explore many new delicious Nihonshu.

But so far, my Number 1 favorite Nihonshu come out of Fukushima Prefecture and Koochi Prefecture.

Additional it is very fun to find new Sake Crafts like cups and carafe.

I am also very interested in the different labels the Sake bottles have.

The Nihonshu tradition with all its topics is very interesting.

Young people these days are more into Sour or Highball.

But not to enjoy the taste, unfortunately just to enjoy to get drunk asap.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So what? What people eat or drink is up to them. What next? Japanese are eating more bread than rice?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Last year I was discussing drinking age / habits with some university classes(20 ~ 22 yrs)

I asked the question "Of those who drink, do you drink Sake?" Why? Why not? It was a written homework question as well as class discussion.

The most common responses for Why Not (most drinkers) were -

1) Don't like the taste

2) Dassai - old fashioned image.

3) Not refreshing.

As to Why (very few) main response was -

1) It's Japanese culture

The Sake industry needs to do key marketing/promotion/product revamping if they want to maintain a strong relevance in the alcohol industry.

BTW - out of the 3 classes, about 70 students, non-drinkers were the majority.

A big reason mentioned was "Health".

So I didn't bore them with details of "When I was at university we.....!" and said stuff like moderation is the best.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hey, that should be 'dasai', for uncool.

Dassai is the name of a very successful sake brand.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Young people these days are so boring compared to our generation.

Too many social justice warriors, and not enough imbibers. Too few proactively trying to find suitable romantic partners. Too few out there playing sports.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Warm Sake were very popular back in the 50s/60s at Yakiniku restaurant and should have been more popular at such restaurant just like how Korean Soju with their Korean bbq have been popular all over the world.

Korean Soju (cold) @ Korean BBQ (thin slices meat with lettuce)

Japanese Sake (warm) @ Yakiniku (thick pieces of meat with seaweed)

I'd choose Korean bbq in the Summer and Japanese bbq in the Winter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Back in the 60s I could think of no more pleasant evening than meeting with a few friends in a nearby izakaya to partake of snacks and warmed sake in winter and snacks along with cold beer in the heat of summer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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