The realm of Saké has long and traditionally been a man's domain. In some respects, this is similar to the world of wine. And as the world of wine has been changing, as women have begun to be more prominent, so it has been with Saké as well.
Coincidentally, during Saké month on this blog, one of my local newspapers, The Boston Globe, published an article yesterday on Saké and women entitled "Saké sisters."
The article states that only about 30 years ago , women were not even permitted entrance into kura, Saké breweries. Once, a Toji, a Saké brew master, would pass on his knowledge and skills to his sons. But in modern times, some sons now no longer want to follow in the family business. Thus, to survive, family kura have started to rely on their daughters or other women to carry on the traditions. But it was not until 1976 that the first female Saké brewer was licensed.
Besides in the kura, women are also now seen managing Saké lists at restaurants and bars. Three local examples are provided in the article, including Nancy Cushman at O Ya, Leah Ikeda at Pho Republique, and Jenny Chow at Douzo. All three women are passionate about Saké and have been sharing that passion with their customers, trying to spread the word about Saké.
Check out the Boston Globe article for more information and keep reading my blog all month for more Saké posts.