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The Japanese Sake Bible
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About the Author

Brian Ashcraft is a senior writer for the video gaming site Kotaku and a columnist for The Japan Times. He was previously a contributing editor at Wired magazine. His work has appeared in Popular Science, the Guardian, the design journal Metropolis, and many other publications. He is the author of Japanese Whisky as well as many books on Japanese culture, including Japanese Tattoos and Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential. Originally from Texas, he has called Osaka home since 2001.

Takashi Eguchi is based in Kyoto, where he curates the popular Japanese-language Sake Concierge Report website (sakeconcierge.com) in which he covers sake events across Japan, interviews brewing luminaries and contributes tasting notes. He regularly gives sake workshops and, as of 2019, has held over one hundred sake-related seminars. He holds a Sake Diploma from the Japan Sommeliers Association and lectures on sake tourism at Kyoto's Doshisha University.

World-renowned musician and DJ Richie Hawtin became a sake connoisseur after he first visited Japan in 1994. He has earned the Advanced Sake Professional Certification and was made a Sake Samurai by the Japanese Sake Brewers Association in 2014 for his efforts in promoting sake internationally. He continues to use his global influence to open up young audiences to new cultural experiences via music, concerts and sake initiatives.

Reviews

"This book is jam-packed with information and knowledge about the drink's past and present. Without a doubt, it's the result of in-depth research, interviews, and sake tastings." -Shuso Imada, Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association
"Brian Ashcraft has written the thorough, authoritative, yet highly accessible book about sake the English-speaking world has been waiting for." -Michael Booth, author of Super Sushi Ramen Express
"...it would be misleading to call this title a mere guide, for it is not just about knowing your honjuzo from your daiginjo...Rather the author's approach here is reflected in an apt quotation from a former Japanese PM: 'sake does not just reflect Japanese culture; it is Japanese culture.' Interviews with the likes of a veteran master toji brewer of 70 years and the pioneers of premium ginjo sake make for a truly enjoyable read and offer valuable context." -Kyoto Journal
"Brian Ashcraft uses unreasonably deep research to demystify and delight. The tasting notes from collaborator Takashi Eguchi are particularly practical." -Nathan Thornburgh, co-founder Roads and Kingdoms and host of The Trip podcast
"The book brilliantly weaves an essential human element into the rich and multi-faceted story of sake, and in doing so, manages to introduce fascinating stories and anecdotes that are sure to become integral to the future discourse on a beverage poised to change how the world drinks." -Justin Potts, Sake on Air podcast co-host and producer
"Be warned: If you start reading Brian Ashcraft's fascinating The Japanese Sake Bible there's a good chance you'll get sucked in and find yourself lost in its pages for hours." -Noah Rothbaum, author of The Art of American Whiskey and editor of The Daily Beast's Half Full section
"...a deep dive into the nation's ubiquitous drink...While there are extensive chapters on tasting notes, food pairings and in-depth explorations of the roles played by rice, water and soil, the heart of the narrative is the human side of sake production." -The Japan Times
"[Ashcraft] has put together lively commentaries based on dozens of interviews with master brewers and sake experts across Japan. Another key feature: reviews and tasting notes for more than 100 leading sake brands by respected Japanese sake expert Takashi Eguchi. The book is rounded out by more than 300 full-color illustrations, photos and maps." -Liquor.com

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