Norimichi Kusumi, 66, can finally heave a sigh of relief having turned over the management of a 180-year-old sake brewery in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, to his son, Yoshitaka, 42, after struggling to protect the business from a series of natural disasters.

The fourth son of a family in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, Norimichi met his wife, Emiko, 67, when they were students at Toyo University.

As the oldest of three daughters of a family operating a sake brewery in Nagaoka, Emiko needed a husband to take over the family business. The brewery, called Kusumi Shuzo, was founded in 1833.