Originator of "Masamune"

  Brewers in Nada district used to name their brands of sake, names of kabuki in the Edo period. Sakuramasamune used to name its brand Shinsui from actors when it was founded. The head of the brewery was thinking about a new name for its brand because names used by brewers in Nada at that time were feminine and it might have not been suitable for sake lovers.

  One day, when the head of Sakuramasamune visited Genseian, one of temples in Fukakusa, Yamashironokuni, where he had been close to, and saw the letters of "臨済正宗(Rinzai Sei-shuu)" on the Buddhist Scripture, he found that the pronunciation of '正宗(sei-shuu)' is similar to '清酒(sei-shu)' meaning 'clear sake.' Then he named originally his brew as "sei-shuu" on his sake barrel.

  He assumed that people call the name "sei-shuu." However it came to be read as "masa-mune" with Japanese reading and "Masamune" became a general name among people in 1840.


  In 1884 we made an application to the government that "Masamune" be registered as the brand name, but it was turned down because many brewers had already used "masamune" as their brand names. "Masamune" was considered as a common noun for 'sake.' Sakuramsamune, therefore, added "a single cherry blossom (sakura)," the national flower, to "masamune" and named its brew as "Sakura Masamune."

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