Rice. The key ingredient of sake is also the staple of Japanese food culture. There have been periods in the past when obtaining enough to simply live was a struggle. The ancestors of many Japanese today anxiously watched over the cultivation of rice as if with prayers on their lips, and when the season of harvest came without incident, they would brew some sake as a way of expressing divine thanks. As with wine in other cultures, making sake traditionally fell to the hands of farmers; a product of brewing, it was an extension of their work. Nature was once again their partner and sake production additionally shared with agriculture the necessity of its successful fruition. The demands of that endeavor helped build in those people patience, physical stamina and creativity. A tradition in which people in farming villages that understood the challenges of working with nature also engaged in work at a sake brewery seems completely reasonable from a human resource perspective.
Order a copy and read the full article.