You know by now that we pursue perfection in our labels. Let's continue the story: It turns now to the textile industry in Kokuryu's homeland of Fukui.
Textile production here has ancient roots. According to some accounts, migrants from China arrived in Echizen and Wakasa between the second and third centuries A.D. and began weaving silk. The industry developed through the Middle Ages and Edo Period, and by the Meiji Period in the late 1800s, Fukui had become Japan's largest producer of ultra-soft and smooth Habutae silk. After that, artificial silk spread through the textile industry and the Artificial Silk Exchange was established in Fukui. The prices set there determined market rates in all of Japan.
Taking advantage of this regional prominence, Kokuryu uses local fabrics such as Echizen ori and velvet for our bottle labels. Echizen ori, used for clothing labels, is woven to sake label size for bottles of Hachijuhachigo and Ryu. Velvet, whose short, dense pile, shiny surface and soft, smooth feel make it a popular choice for formal dresses and drapery, is featured on bottles of Kuzuryu. The black velvet emblazoned with the red Chinese characters for “Nine-Headed Dragon” expresses the elegance, luxury and warmth of this daiginjo.
As for our other sake labels? Some use design motifs from traditional local fabrics, while others feature patterns taken from kimonos.
Kokuryu has been one of Fukui's best-loved sakes for more than 200 years. The labels that give our sake that much more value come from Fukui. Production technology gives us textiles. Human skill gives us calligraphy. A brewer's art gives us sake. Combine these into one, and you might even say Kokuryu's mission becomes one of helping to put Fukui on the national and global maps.
Japanese culture today, especially its cuisine, is drawing global attention. Starting with New York, major cities are seeing a rising tide of appreciation for Japanese food and sake. As brewers of premium sake, it is our mission to express the Japanese spirit in our products around the world.