Kumamoto Prefecture is located centrally on the West Coast of Kyushu Island and because of it’s natural beauty is considered the ‘southern belle’ of Japan. Seventy per cent of Kumamoto’s 7,402 square kilometres is still untouched natural forests, rolling grasslands, high snowcapped mountains, and deep valleys. Kumamoto thrives on rich agricultural and marine resources and has abundant natural water sources.
Kameman Shuzo was established in 1916 and is the second southernmost Kura [Sake Brewery] found in Japan. Shuichi Takeda is the 4th generation Kuramoto [Brewery Owner] and he is also the Toji [Master Brewer] at this tiny brewery. Takeda-san's uncle was a Professor at Tokyo University and he had unique ideas regarding sake brewing. It was Professor Takeda’s idea to create a sake made from brown rice rather than the usual polished white rice and this lead to the creation of the fantastic sake that is the Kameman Shuzo ‘Genmaishu’. Professor Takeda was also the teacher of one of our other Toji - Kuniko Mukai, who created her famous ‘Ine Mankai’ red rice sake after Professor Takeda encouraged her to create a sake made from the red rice sake that grew near her brewery.
Kameman Shuzo is very conscious of environmentally friendly practices and only buy rice from farmers who grow rice naturally. One of the organic farming principles that the local rice growers use is letting ducks swim through the rice paddies to eat the weeds and bugs.