Tanba school; Nada school

There are many schools of sake brewing, with the Kinki region alone being able to count around ten. In Nada, the Tanba school predominated. In the great early Edo Period brewing manual Domo Shuzoki (童蒙酒造記, all long “o”s, dating from around 1600 – 1650), the Nara school is cited as the origin of the various schools, and the names of the Konoike and Itami schools are also recorded.

The Itami school began with people from such farming villages in the region of Itami such as Amatsu and Yamamoto, changing, from the last years of the 17th century and early decades of the 18th, to toji from the Tanba region. So the Itami and Tanba schools were born. Moving into the days of Nada’s development in the Kasei Period (1804 – 1829), the early brewers were from Uhara, Namase and Banshu (long “u”), all from areas of Hyogo Prefecture near Nada. From the Bunka Period (1804 – 1818), Tanba men arrived and interacted with toji from Uhara and Banshu, but, by the late Edo Period (1603 – 1868), the Tanba brewers came to predominate, and the Nada / Tanba school of brewing was established.

One of the notable areas of difference between the various schools can be seen in the method used to prepare shubo. Tanba school methodology is well adapted to the local use of hard water like Miyamizu for mashing. When making kimoto-style yeast starter, Tanba brewers used relatively little time for the processes using hangiri tubs. This meant less space was required, making for greater efficiency compared to the methods of other schools, and an ideal match for the requirements of production in Nada.