Oldest sake workshop found in Japan

Oldest sake workshop found in Japan
Oldest sake workshop found in Japan

In Japan, employees of a construction company excavating in Kyoto uncovered the ruins of an ancient temple that included a brewery, the oldest extant brewery.

According to Asahi, the discovery was made during an archaeological survey on the site allocated for the construction of the apartments. There was the Tenryuji Temple, where the brewery probably operated.

Judging by the number of finds, it was a whole factory built in the 14th century. For example, during the excavations, an installation was discovered for pressing unrefined sake - one of the traditional Japanese alcoholic beverages obtained by fermenting wort based on rice.

They also found about 180 holes for storing cans. According to archaeologists, the brewery was actively used before the Onin war (1467-1477). It is known from written sources that sake was produced at Tenryuji Temple during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). This allowed the temple to make significant profits and lend money at high interest rates.

However, for the first time, archaeological evidence of this information fell into the hands of scientists. By the way, until now the oldest brewery in Japan was found in the city of Itami, Hyogo Prefecture. According to scholars, she worked during the Edo period (1603-1867).

“The brewery opened in Kyoto is probably the oldest facility for pressing and making sake,” says Masaharu Obase, director of the Itami City Museum. “It is smaller than an Edo period brewery, but has the same structure. that a similar method of wringing was widely used in the medieval period."

Researchers believe the technology was quite simple. Unrefined sake in cloth bags was placed in a container and squeezed using a wooden block with stones as a lever. Archaeologists managed to find such a device.

The length of the arm was 1.45 meters. It was mounted on a bar equipped with two crossbars, each 1, 8 meters long. Up to 20 stones were used as a load. Some of them were suspended from a lever with ropes, while other stones were placed on crossbars to create balance.

A pit with a diameter of 1.8 meters and a depth of one meter was found in front of the wringer. A large pot was placed in it, into which the finished sake dripped during the wringing process.