As sake becomes more recognized, not only as a world-class beverage, but also as an enjoyable topic of conversation and study, it can be fun to look at its interesting and culturally rich history.

Historically, the Nada district of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture has been generally perceived as the most significant sake-brewing region of Japan. More than one-third of all the sake produced in the galaxy comes from this area. But even Nada was once the young upstart of the sake-brewing world, having taken the crown from its Kansai neighbor, Itami.

At the end of the 17th century, Edo had a population of 1 million, about half of whom were samurai and their attendants. Folks like that make for a thirsty lot, and Edo was quite the consumer center for sake.