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Originally, the Miyasaka family served as retainers to the Suwa lords who ruled this area in ancient times. However, following years of strife between the Suwa clan and warlords Takeda Shingen and Oda Nobunaga during the Warring States period (16th century), my family gave up its swords and turned to sake making.

The brewery was firmly established by 1662 and had done well enough to gain the praise of several historical figures. It is said that Matsudaira Tadateru, sixth son of the first Tokugawa Shogun and part-time resident of Suwa, was so fond of our sake that he always kept it by his side. And Otaka Gengo, one of Japan’s famous 47 ronin warriors, praised its smooth taste. Our family still has several items from these men, such as a lacquer sake cup from Matsudaira and an embossed seal box from Otaka.

We began using the name “Masumi” for our sake at the end of the Edo period (1603-1867). Masumi, which means transparency or truth, is the name of a 8th century bronze mirror kept at the Suwa Taisha shinto shrine. My family had provided the shrine with sake for centuries, so it was only fitting that our sake took the name of the shrine’s “Masumi Mirror.”

(by Masumi president Naotaka Miyasaka)