Richie Hawtin sits with Masaaki Fujioka, brewmaster and owner of Sookuu Brewery (Kyoto), to discuss the vital role of Sake in the ENTER. experience, Fujioka-san’s thoughts on Ibiza, the distinct different grades of Sookuu available, and much more!
Richie Hawtin: Here we are at our ENTER.Sake Bar at Space Ibiza. This week is our special ENTER.Sake week celebrating everything about Japanese sake. Last night, we had an incredible event at Sacca where we brought together music, food, and of course, Japanese sake. I’m happy to be sitting here with my good friend from Kyoto, Japan, Fujioka-san from Sookuu Brewery who is the brew master and owner of our ENTER.Sake. So, welcome! Nice to see you in Ibiza.
Masaaki Fujioka: Thank you.
Richie Hawtin: You came to Ibiza last year but this is your second visit. What are your thoughts on Ibiza and Spain?
Masaaki Fujioka: Ibiza, with its super blue sky and blue sea, has an absolutely amazing weather. When I walked around the city, I saw everybody smiling and enjoying their lives. Honestly, to think that in a place like this, people will drink my sake, it makes me feel unreal and also very proud.
Richie Hawtin: Last night, we had our first annual sake event at Sacca.
Masaaki Fujioka: Yes.
Richie Hawtin: We introduced all the sakes to everybody. How did you feel the people reacted to the ENTER.Sookuu’s sakes?
Masaaki Fujioka: Probably because it was their first time to drink Japanese sake, people seemed to be carefully drinking it at first, excited at trying something new. But as they sipped it slowly, I saw them having bigger and bigger smiles on their faces. Soon, they started saying “I want to try this sake!” or “I want to try the other one!” I could see them enjoying it and trying all the different kinds and this made me very happy.
Richie Hawtin: Actually, that’s exactly why we call it ENTER.Sake. That’s also why we call our night ENTER. We invite people in to new experiences. It’s so incredible to see people listening to music for the first time and, of course, drinking sake for the first time. Last night, we were in a restaurant. Now, we’re in a nightclub. What do you think about people trying sake for the first time and having your sake in a nightclub?
Masaaki Fujioka: Last year, I came to ENTER and experienced the European culture for the first time: dance, music, and drinking. To be honest, at first I was worried about getting Japanese sake involved in this culture and trying to mix it with dance and music. I wondered if people would approve it and like it. But as soon as I saw people drinking and enjoying it at ENTER last year, I was very happy to discover a new way of enjoying Japanese sake.
ENTER.Sookuu Black Junmaishu, Miyamanishiki rice milled 60%. Soft and silky with sweet rice-like notes with good sustain a slightly sharp finish.
ENTER.Sookuu Silver Junmai Ginjo, Yamadaho rice milled 55%. Laid back with slight fruit overtones and well-balanced umami sweetness that holds just long enough through it’s clean finish.
ENTER.Sookuu Gold Junmai Daiginjo, Yamadan
ishki rice milled 40%. Elegant notes of pear and yellow peach perfectly balanced with a sense of coolness and lingering sophistication.
Richie Hawtin: For me, Japanese sake is the perfect drink for the nightclub. It’s 16-18% alcohol. It’s giving me a nice feeling. Every time I’m starting my night off with sake, it’s going in a good direction. I found music many years ago and it became my passion and I followed this. The more I learn about Japanese sake, the more I travel through Japan, the more it becomes my second passion. To bring this things together is an incredible, incredible experience. At ENTER this year, we have three special-edition ENTER.Sookuus: we have Black, Silver and Gold. Let’s talk a little bit about each. ENTER.Sookuu Black.
Masaaki Fujioka: Thank you. The Black Label is the most basic sake and the inexpensive one, but I must say it is the sake in which I spent all of my time and put all the feelings into. It is because when people try Sookuu, the first sake will probably be the Black Label. If people don’t love it, they will be less likely to try the other labels. To make sure that the people like sake, I try to make the black label with the most care I can.
Richie Hawtin: ENTER.Sookuu, our Silver edition, the Junmai Ginjo − what is this all about?
Masaaki Fujioka: Yes. The Silver Label is Junmai Ginjo. It is the driest one compared to all the other relatively sweet sakes. I think this sake will go very well with spicy meals like the one we had at Sacca. Richie Hawtin: Our top, super-premium Gold Sookuu edition−
Masaaki Fujioka: Yeah. The Gold Label is Junmai Daiginjo and it is the highest quality one. When people taste this sake, I hope people will feel my passion for sake brewing and enjoy its exquisite quality.
Richie Hawtin: It’s been an incredible collaboration already for the last two years. We’re so honored to have Sookuu sake as part of ENTER. Actually, as everybody knows, the ENTER.Sake experience is one of the most important parts of the ENTER experience. So, thank you for that.
Masaaki Fujioka: Thank you.
Richie Hawtin: What are the plans for next year, for ENTER year three, for Sookuu? What’s in the future?
Masaaki Fujioka: There must be many reasons for inviting Sookuu to be part of ENTER, but I think the biggest reason is its quality. Looking at your performance, I feel that the quality of your music gets better. I also feel that ENTER has improved its power compared to last year. I also want to make the quality of Sookuu better every year; otherwise, I won’t be able to make people happy. So I will work hard and make it even better. Sookuu will keep growing just like your performance and ENTER. Richie Hawtin: Quality is one of the most important things for the whole ENTER project. That’s why I think we have a great collaboration: because of the sake, because of the music, everything that we’re trying to do here. If we don’t have that, we can’t move forward. But I’m excited to see where we’re going to go, what next year is going to bring us. Last night, you brought a couple of special sakes like genshu. You brought a nigori. Maybe we’re going to have those at ENTER.Sake next year. Who knows?
Masaaki Fujioka: Yeah.
Richie Hawtin: But we’re going to be back I’m sure working together on Ibiza and maybe around the world, so stay tuned. Yeah, I think we should enjoy some sake. A pleasure, nice to have you here.
Masaaki Fujioka: Thank you.
Richie Hawtin: Kampai!
Masaaki Fujioka: Kampai! Richie Hawtin: Kampai!
Masaaki Fujioka: Kampai!
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