The Genealogy of Saké | 一献の系譜 J-Film


Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan and the Japan Commerce Association of Washington DC

From the award-winning director of “A Handful of Salt” comes a documentary about saké brewers of the Noto peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture.

A glass of Japanese Saké is filled with the spirit of the Japanese saké brewers, or toji. The history of Japanese saké goes back to 2000 years ago, and its brewing process is extremely detailed and complex.

This documentary film follows the lives of artisans who shed their lives to pass on the heritage, to brew the perfect drop of saké.

Narrated by Tomoe Shinohara

Post-Film Saké Tasting!

After the screening there will be a light reception with a saké tasting of Sogen Saké, the brewery featured in the film.

For this event, guests must present a valid ID to verify their age.


A graduate of Sacred Heart University, Kaori Ishii worked at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology (MEXT) while simultaneously studying at the Film School of Tokyo after work.

Her first documentary film, Sorry Grandma (2005) won the first prize at the Osaka Abeno Human Documentary Film Festival. Her next one, Chain of Life – The Artistry of Mokuhanzome Kimono (2006), depicted Japan’s oldest dyeing technique and was screened in many festivals around the world. She also worked as an assistant to Sumiko Haneda, who is one of the most famous documentary filmmakers in Japan. She went on to direct for television before producing her next film, A Handful of Salt (2011) which received the Best Cinematography prize at Cebu International Documentary Film Festival.

Her latest film is The Genealogy of saké (2015) about saké brewers of the Noto peninsula.

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