Sakai Sake Brewery Art Museum “Gokyo Bunko”

The Sakai Sake Brewery was originally established in the Kawashimo District of Iwakuni City in 1871, which is blessed with the underground water of the Nishiki River.

It goes without saying that the name “Gokyo” (Five Bridges) comes from the Kintaikyo Bridge, which is a series of five arched bridges over the Nishiki River. Considering the elegance of the Kintaikyo Bridge, its sake was so named with the thought that it be a bridge between the hearts of two people.

In the spring of 1947, the name “Gokyo” spread throughout the country.  At the time hard-water preparation was at its peak; so, acquiring the first place award of the National Sake Appraisal Committee due to soft-water preparation became the focus of the brewery’s employees. Since then, Gokyo has been improved upon by the tireless efforts, skill and technique of the brewers.

Gokyo is a representative liquor of Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is well received not only in Yamaguchi Prefecture but also by many customers nationwide. Gokyo is characterized by the soft and aromatic liquor quality peculiar to soft-water preparation.

The brewery believes that good sake is produced “when good rice, good water, and good technology (people) become one.”  Its slogan is “do common things naturally.”

Kiyoshi Sakai, the 3rd generation owner of the Sakai Sake Brewery, had a deep knowledge of cultural arts by learning calligraphy and ink painting, while steadily making sake during the Showa Era. Kiyoshi left many artworks, including Dokuryu’s Calligraphy Work “Sei” – the museum’s most important possession.  He also left many other works of calligraphy such as a letter from Sen Rikyu to the samurai Ujisato Gamou, and paintings by Uemura Shoen, as well as many lacquer boxes and pill boxes.

Dokuryu’s work “Sei” which means “Tranquility” reflects the basic philosophy or principle of the museum. Please take a look at it.

On March 19, 2017, the General Foundation Gokyo Bunko was founded near Kintaikyo Bridge, combining the collections of the 5th generation owner of the Brewery, Tasuku Sakai, as well as donations from Mr. Togo Kobayashi. Tasuku Sakai started managing the museum as its director, and together with Hideki Sakai, the 6th generation owner of the Brewery, he is working to build the Sakai Brewery Art Museum Gokyo Bunko into a facility that can contribute to the cultural arts of Iwakuni City.