Hamafukutsuru & Kira Karacho

The encounter of two companies with their long histories add to an elegant and abundant lifestyle with their inherited passions for traditional beauty and culinary culture KIRA KARACHO, with woodblocks passed down from generations to generations since the Edo era, has been creating Karakami papers.
Those woodblock designs were hand-printed page by page for over 400 years.
Koyama Honke Shuzo Hamafukutsurukura has been brewing sake in Nada Gogo, Japan’s premier sake brewery location.
To give pleasure to many

Story of Our Origin

Story of Our Origin

Many of the world’s most beloved spirits acquire their quintessential flavors rich in “originality” by aging in wooden casks, much like wine or whiskey.
Against a backdrop of various perspectives wondering what kind of individuality would be produced if brewed sake cultivated by the rich nature of Japan is aged for a long time in a cask of Western alcohol, the era of aging Japanese alcohol for a long time is rapidly approaching.
Desiring to produce Japan’s quintessential “Japanese Specialty Hard Liquor” using the accumulated superior techniques that we have cultivated, we embarked on an adventure into the unknown in 2003.

After several seasons, the refined whisky, which has been polished and matured by our brewers, has turned into a whisky with a surprisingly savory taste.

The concept of “絲 ito” is “connectedness to everything”, as “ito” means a string or thread in Japanese. Blending a variety of unblended malt whiskies with different flavor personalities in each cask creates a complex, balanced taste.

With the earnest desire to “give pleasure to many” through whisky brewing, the Sherry Cask Matured Whisky of “絲 ito” was born.

Traditional Techniques Cultivated in Japanese Brewing
Special unblended malt whisky produced by techniques cultivated in Japanese brewing
Special unblended malt whisky produced by techniques cultivated in Japanese brewing

This special raw sake that “絲 ito” produces uses rice, the main ingredient in Japanese sake. Its characteristic of “sweet” taste derives from the natural sweetness in rice.

The unblended malt whisky of “絲 ito” is brewed by trial and error by professional brewers using carefully selected brewer’s rice, abundant fresh water, and traditional techniques.

Aging a special unblended malt whisky with the unique umami of brewed whisky that can withstand long years of storage and aging it in sherry casks for an extended period has created the unparalleled uniqueness of “絲 ito”, brimming with authenticity.
※Currently classified as a liqueur

Product〈 ito 〉

Sherry cask brewed special unblended malt whisky exemplifies the interwoven world of Japanese tradition and Japanese craftsmanship. In the history of Japanese brewing, the cultivated unblended malt whisky has been aged in a cask repeatedly over many years. By blending unblended malt whiskies from casks filled with varying individuals, a unique masterpiece with a delicate fragrance and a deep, harmonious taste is achieved.

ColorAmber
FragranceRaisins, apricots, aged barrel aromas, sweet woodiness
TasteFull-bodied sweetness derived from rice, pleasant acidity with a soft palate
AftertasteDelicate, an aftertaste that gently lingers, subtle oakiness
Type of casksAmerican oak specification sherry cask
Raw ingredientsRice (grown in Japan), rice koji (steamed rice containing the koji mold spores essential for fermentation), brewed alcohol
Alcohol content25%
Volume750ml

Delicious ways to drink “絲 ito”

By keeping the whisky cool, the ice melts slowly creating a pleasant, lingering physical sensation of body and taste. When drinking it straight, by shaking the glass to let air in, the fragrance blossoms, giving you a gentle burst of pleasure.

When making highballs, it is recommended that you cool the glass with alcohol and soda. The point is to not mix it so much that the carbonation escapes.

Scented with citrus peels such as oranges will enhance the exhilarating taste. Squeezing the juice as much as you like, even making a carbonated drink such as tonic water, you can enjoy the unique taste of each.

Cocktails

BAR Goya Style Created by Tsuyoshi Yamasaki

BAR Goya Style

Created by Tsuyoshi Yamasaki
(Bar GOYA Owner and bartender)
The recommended style of Tsuyoshi Yamasaki, the owner of “Bar Goya”
and winner of the 46th National Skilled Bartender Competition.
“絲 ito” in Mist Style
Show recipe
“絲 ito” in Mist Style

How to make it

1.Put a goodly amount of crushed ice into a glass and pour already-cooled “ 絲 ito” into the glass.

2.The amount of liquid should not cover the ice.

3.Lightly twist the orange peel (orange skin) and decorate it with a cherry on a cocktail pick.

A style that highlights sweet-sour nuances of "絲 ito" , with its delicate fragrance and dignified taste. It is the image of an “Old-Fashioned”, a well-known, whisky-based cocktail.

The point is to use crushed ice. By using roughly crushed, fine ice, the concentration of the liquid in the glass and its warmth creates small pockets in the ice which are infused throughout with fragrance when drinking. With its complex flavor, “絲 ito” does not become watered down after a short time.

An additional tip is to add an orange peel whose fragrance goes well with “絲 ito”. Compared to the whiskey-based “Old-Fashioned”, it has a lower alcohol content, so it is recommended for women and light drinkers.

The type of glass recommended here has a wide rim to better enhances the sensation of the delicate fragrance. (The glass in the picture is Baccarat.)

“絲 ito” Hot Ginger Style
Show recipe
“絲 ito” Hot Ginger Style

How to make it

1.Warm (do not boil) “絲 ito” in a small pot and pour it into a sake cup.

2.Peel away 2-3 slices tearing the ginger slices by hand, and then, float a 1/2 slice of lime on top.

3.Serve it with a cocktail stick and a mixer.

A style that emphasizes the characteristics of “絲 ito”—it’s delicious even warm!

This idea comes from the Moscow Mule that uses both ginger and lime. The point here is to tear the ginger (slices) with your fingers, without using a knife. By doing so, it brings out the scent and flavor of the ginger, and is easily absorbed into the scent and taste of “絲 ito”.

Adding a lime slice also accentuates, the fragrance and acidity of the lime is perfect, even better than a citrus lemon.

The ginger and lime flavors blend with the deep sweetness and sourness of “絲 ito”, creating an impressively alluring aroma. When drinking, ginger can be crushed with a cocktail pin or mixer, or scooped with a small spoon and grated, so you can enjoy it even more.

Your body is slowly and comfortably warmed from the inside out. (The cup in the picture is an original product by Noritake.)

BAR Information
Bar Goya

A famous bar located in the Ginza 6-chome

Hanatsubaki Bldg., 2F-B2 6-4-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Phone : 03-6264-5583
Hanatsubaki Bldg., 2F-B2 6-4-16 Ginza,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo Phone : 03-6264-5583

Pairings

You can pair up “絲 ito” with various ingredients and dishes depending how you drink it and in what situations. Highballs are recommended during a meal, or straight up or on the rocks be paired as an after-dinner drink. It goes well with salty dishes such as prosciutto and seafood, dishes made with mild cheeses and cream-based dishes, spicy dishes or even with sweet and spicy dishes or soup dishes.
Enjoy discovering your own perfect pairings from cuisines all over the world.

  • <Well-paired ingredients>  
    Sliced raw ham  
    Cheese   
    Chocolate 
  • <Recommended dishes>  
    Chinese cuisine    
    Japanese cuisine  
    Ethnic cuisine
Connectedness of the “絲 ITO” World

Sogen Hirano, Calligrapher

The font of the character “ 絲 ” was created by calligrapher Sogen Hirano (SOGEN).

SOGEN is a Japanese calligrapher who designed and created the official poster and emblem of the FIFA World Cup. Beyond the boundaries of Japanese and Asian calligraphy, he founded a new art genre called “Shogei”.
Mr. SOGEN's calligraphy has been highly valued at home and abroad and continues to be loved by people around the world.

> Sogen Hirano (SOGEN)
official website <

Collaboration with Craftmanship

〈 KIRA KARACHO 〉

Wishing to enrich people’s lives through the world of karakami's vivid colors, patterns, and cultures.
Wishing to enrich people’s lives through the world of karakami's vivid colors, patterns, and cultures.
Karakami (patterned paper) from Kira Karacho, the only karakami studio to remain in operation since the Edo era

The design for the label and packaging was created and overseen by KIRA KARACHO, the successor to the Karakami studio which has been operating for about 400 years since its founding in 1624.

There are more than 600 Karacho woodblocks with a global backdrop tracing back to the Euro-Asian continental culture via the Silk Road up through to Japan’s uniquely refined style.

From among the woodblocks passed down from the ancestors through the years, we chose the peony board to represent the elegance and noble image of “絲 ito”.

The pattern was designed based on the hand-printed Karakami on a Japanese paper. The pattern fluctuates beautifully with the shades of light, taking on a soft luster and dignity. The label color is a beautiful contrast between bottle blue and Japan’s tradition heavenly color (Ama-iro). The glittering gold patterns create a sensation of luxuriant elegance.

Shadow of Prayer About the Pattern

Peony woodblock

Peony Oami Botan

A pattern expressing an earnest wish for a good harvest combining
a net representing the harvest and a peony, a symbol of wealth.

The mesh design is a pattern intersecting curved lines.
Since it takes the shape of the fisherman's net, it is called a mesh pattern, and the rhythmically curved undulations are beautiful. It is beloved as an expression of the harvest represented by the “great fish catch”. Further, consistent with the meaning of “one fell swoop”, alluding to the ability to completely rout one’s enemy all at once, this is also used in the family crest of the Shoguns.
By incorporating the peony, the king of the flowers, this pattern expresses the fervent wish for a victorious march toward the fulfillment of the heart’s desire, abundant prosperity.

About KIRA KARACHO
The successor to the Karakami studio and only studio which has been operating continuously since its founding in 1624, KIRA KARACHO is a brand created by Akihiko Toto, a master at karakami and Aiko Senda, successor of the founding family. Karakami papers that are hand-printed with the woodblocks that are passed down over the generations, have been used as paper screens for Japan’s traditional sliding doors and wallpaper for historical buildings such as the Katsura Imperial Villa, Nijo Castle, Yogen-in Temple, and is much loved since it brings a sense of vibrancy to the lifestyle of people today.
About Karakami paper
Karakami, said to be a thick paper that came from China which was used by Heian period aristocrats, was initially used to write characters for composing poetry, and, with the change in architectural styles in the Kamakura and Muromachi eras, came to be used for interior decoration on, among others, fans and folding screens, fusuma (Japanese traditional sliding doors) and wallpaper. With more than 650 woodblocks that have come down to us through the generations of Karacho, thanks to our forebears, the global views of the international patterns are still thrive, unchanged from the Edo era.
Karakami master
Akihiko Toto
While inheriting the traditional Karakami culture, he creates a new world of Karakami as unique works of art. These works of art can be found in art museums, Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, commercial buildings as well as private homes. “When you wish upon a star”, his masterpiece, is displayed with the “Chinese Lions” by Tawaraya Sotatsu, a Japanese important cultural property.
Karakami master
Aiko Senda
Aiko was born in the founder family of “Karacho”. Since her teens, she has been cultivating the world of cards as a new frontier for Karacho. Further, together with her husband Akihiko Toto, she is engaged in activities for further development in collaboration with various industries involving Karacho patterns passed down from forebears.

Exquisite Karakami for use in interior decoration

The Karakami lampshade with its soft lighting adds color to today’s lifestyle

Karacho woodblocks passed down through the generations

One by one, beautifully colored Karakami, carefully printed by hand

> KIRA KARACHO
Official Website <