Nada no Ki-ippon
- “Pure Nada Sake”; Nada no Ki-ippon
The expression Nada no Ki-ippon has a long history as an expression indicating the highest quality seishu. The “masculine” flavour of Nada sake was a perfect fit for the feel of the phrase, and it appealed to the many lovers of Nada brews amongst the lively townspeople of Edo (as Tokyo was known until 1856). The expression became widely known as the reputation of Ki-ippon spread amongst the people. There are various theories about the phrase’s meaning, but “pure unadulterated sake ( genshu ), ‘born and bred’ in Nada”, would seem to be the most likely.
After regulations regarding sake composition were introduced in 1940, genshu was diluted to product strength before shipping, so diluted sake also came within the scope of Ki-ippon. Nowadays, the designation Nada no Ki-ippon refers to a junmai-shu made in a single Nada brewery.
Since 2011, members of the Society for Nada Sake Research (SNSR) have made a standardized Nada no Ki-ippon label, and sell a series of products displaying the character and originality of each company. The nine participating brands ( as of 2015 ) are Ozeki, Kikumasamune, Kenbishi, Sakuramasamune, Sawanotsuru, Dokan, Nihonsakari, Hakushika, and Hakutsuru.