Noto Peninsula Earthquake Fundraiser🤝🫶

This year, at around 4:10pm on New Years Day, the picturesque Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture was rocked by an earthquake (or rather series of quakes) that produced vibrations that hit the peak level 7 on the Japanese scale of measured seismic intensity.

The damage and the aftershocks not only had devastating effects in Ishikawa prefecture, but also heavily impacted nearby regions in surrounding prefectures: Toyama, Fukui, Niigata and Nagano.

The Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture, and many of the areas impacted by this fierce earthquake, are all well known sake brewing regions. Sadly, many of the breweries in Ishikawa Prefecture were damaged, many severely, and a number were completely destroyed in the disaster.

For anyone who has visited Japan and stepped inside an historic sake brewery building, you will understand that the loss felt goes beyond their four walls collapsing. What’s lost is so much more than a brewery building and everything inside it. What’s lost is a big piece of history, of culture, of community. What’s lost is not only people’s homes and businesses, but their livelihood ~ and whilst none of the affected breweries reported any loss of life, the damage caused by the Jan 1st earthquake will continue to impact these businesses, these families, these communities for years.

Some of the breweries that were completely destroyed are not only dealing with the hardship of having lost their brewery, residence and all their belongings, but are now facing the prospect of having to fold their family’s business completely thus ending an era in their family’s (and Japan’s) history book.

Noto Peninsula certainly bore the brunt of the damage. To give you an idea of how many are currently facing these hardships, here is a list of sake breweries within the Noto region that have been impacted:

  • Matsunami Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Sakurada Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Tsuruno Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Hiyoshi Shuzo: completely destroyed
  • Nakashima Shuzo: Completely destroyed
  • Sogen Shuzo: Landslide damage
  • Kazuma Shuzo: Flooded by tsunami
  • Shimizu Shuzo: Partially destroyed
  • Hakuto Shuzo: Partially destroyed
  • Nakano Shuzo (Monzen): Partially destroyed
  • Nakano Shuzo (Wajima): Partially destroyed

The earthquake in Japan and the subsequent devastation have indeed become overshadowed by other news stories, even within Japan itself. However, the struggles and challenges faced by those affected remain very real. In light of this, Sake Festival has been moved to action as they recognise the profound impact on these breweries. With a deep love for sake, the festival organisers are determined to provide support to these breweries during these difficult times. 

We will be doing our little bit to help raise funds for these breweries in the hope that they can repair and rebuild and continue their valuable sake-brewing legacy.

During our Melbourne and Sydney Sake Festival sessions, we will be selling raffle tickets as a fundraiser, with all the proceeds going to Ishikawa Sake Makers’ Association to be distributed to the breweries affected in Noto and beyond.

There will be a prize drawn for each session in both states, and one major prize in each state. Tickets will be available to purchase online prior to the festival and will also be on sale during each session of Sake Festival in Melbourne and in Sydney in 2024. The cost for a ticket will be small but the cause is a big one and we encourage you to donate to this important cause by entering the raffle when you visit Sake Festival this year.

More details on this raffle and prizes soon.

Photo credit: Ishikawa Prefecture


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