Sake, Umeshu and Yuzushu

Event panel

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  • This event has taken place
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
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  • Full Price: £13.00

Discover the world of Japanese drinks with a panel of experts.

This event takes place at the British Library.

Due to alcohol being served, this event is not suitable for under 18s. 

Sake, umeshu (plum wine) and yuzushu (yuzu wine) have a long and rich history in Japan and are now popular around the world. Join Fabio Gygi, Chair of the Japan Research Center at SOAS University, Rie Yoshitake, sake expert and director of the Japanese Culinary Academy in the UK, Risa Iwashita, Director for Umeshuya London and Tom Wilson, Head Brewer at the UK’s first sake brewery, Kanpai. 

The evening will include a panel discussion exploring the culture and history of Japanese drinks and a chance to taste a selection. 

Fabio Gygi is the chair of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS. He is an anthropologist by training with an interest in material culture, gender, disposal and robots. He is the co-editor of The Work of Gender: Service, Performance and Fantasy in Contemporary Japan and has written articles on animism, dolls, hoarding and Marie Kondo. During eight years in Japan, he has developed a taste for local sake, particularly of the crisp and dry variety. 

Risa Iwashita is originally from Japan but has lived in London longer than Tokyo and is passionate about connecting the two. With a background in bringing fashion and luxury brands to Japan from all over the world, Risa saw an opportunity with Umeshuya to switch careers and bring Japanese culture in the form of umeshu to the UK. Umeshuya collaborates with traditional sake breweries who develop their own artisanal blends based on the simple art of mixing alcohol, fruit and sugar, using locally sourced ingredients with hand-made methods.

Rie Yoshitake is the UK-Japan communication consultant and a leading Sake ambassador in Europe, where she represents The Japan Sake and Shochu Maker’s Association (JSSA), Sake Samurai Association (SSA), and the International Wine Challenge sake competition (IWC). She is also a director of the Japanese Culinary Academy in the UK, and the Japan Society. Rie has been spearheading numerous sake and Japanese food promotion campaigns at embassies, universities and international corporations across Europe and the UK. Rie has come to be known as the ‘Sake Lady’ of London, where she received the Japanese MAFF Minister’s Award (2014) and the Foreign Minister’s Award (2019) for her contribution towards raising the profile of Japan’s national drink and cuisine.

Tom Wilson is the co-founder and head brewer at KANPAI London Craft Sake. He set up the UK's first sake brewery in 2017, with his wife Lucy. Based in Peckham, where they craft a range of award-winning British sakes using traditional Japanese techniques. Tom is a self-confessed brew and food obsessive, always pushing the boundaries of what can be created and enjoyed. He has a WSET Level 3 Sake (Distinction), is Gekkeikan Brew School Certified and a member of the Brewing Society of Japan.

Please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event. We are committed to the safety of our event bookers. Find out how we are welcoming you to the Library safely.

This event will not be live-streamed.

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Name: Sake, Umeshu and Yuzushu
Where: British Library St Pancras
When: -
Price: Full Price: £13.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546