Takenosuke Yasufuku is the President of the 13th generation owner of Kobe Shushinkan Breweries, a 250-year-old sake house. When Takenosuke was a university student in the United States, the 1995 Kobe earthquake levelled the brewery. This disaster set in motion a major shift in the family operation — first led by his father and brother — to redirect production with local rice farmers, improved quality, and enhanced experiences (including restaurants, tasting rooms, etc.).
Japan’s sake market is crowded and shrinking. Many smaller sake makers struggle to find the right size and audience for their products. The company is facing these challenges and successfully marketing in Japan and abroad, and its flagship Fukuju sake is known to sommeliers internationally, and has been served at the Nobel Prize ceremony.