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Square One
The Club
Oni Bar
Obuse mini Marathon
Ichi-Gomi-Zero Project
Someone's roots, base, point of origin.
1. A way to read the symbol () for the Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery in English.
2. Masuichi's iconic sake. After World War II, Japan developed by leaps and bounds, but at the same time began losing many important things. Masuichi believes that the reconstruction of Japan needs to return to its origins. Thusly, their representative sake was named Square One, making use of the old Masuichi logo as a symbol of reviving old elements with long and rich traditions and carrying them on into the future.
Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery - Square One

A project focused on the restoration of brewing in the traditional way, using large wooden "Oke" barrels. After an absence of 50 years it was brought back at the Masuichi brewery, but just that would not be enough to support the coopers' trade. Because of this, Masuichi contacted breweries all across the country, urging them to bring back Oke brewing. As a result, over 30 breweries are reviving Oke brewing and are also spreading the culture of fermentation for miso, soy sauce, and other things as well. Hopefully one day Oke will be OK.

Society for the Preservation of Wooden Barrel Brewing

A cultural salon hosted in Obuse when the number of the day and month matches up. This location for intellectual stimulation and exchange was given that name with the thoughts that Obuse + Session = Obusession and Obsession + U (you) = Obusession.


The name of a cultural salon and hangout for young people held on the current Masuichi store premises during the time of "Taisho Romance."
A restaurant built in part of the Masuichi brewery in 1998. The name is actually written with the character "kura" for brewery and "bu" for part, but those two characters put together sound like "club," giving the restaurant its name. This marks the revival of salon culture after 75 years.

A word used to describe the "Masuni" project with the hopes that it would make Obuse even (masumasu, in Japanese) better. Now Masuichi is actively using that term as a regular word.

A sake brewed with Sakuragawa-Nishiki rice. Since the name "Sakuragawa" was trademarked, this sake was given the name "Shu," the last character from the name of the local Shinshu region, which looks like cherry (sakura) petals floating down a river. It's a new technique for using an old thing.

Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery - Shu
Hasshin means to send or transmit. Hasshinshu is a "transmission" of the lifestyles and culture from the Shinshu region. As more high-tech power arrives, it can be utilized to make the most of tradition. If people don't work hard, they won't be able to pass on these traditions to the next generation, but in the modern age people can now transmit information directly to the world in an economical way.

A piano bar on the second floor of the San Poo Loh restaurant decorated with handmade "Oni" ridge-end tiles.


A mochi-making event held every year on January 2nd from 1999 onwards. Starting in 2002, it also took place on the 1st and became sort of a festival to mochi-vate (motivate) everyone with a spirit of hospitality. Generally, mochi making takes place on December 28th, but many people were interested in experiencing Japanese sake and culture, and nothing was held over the New Year. Mochi-vation is about sharing the joy of the New Year with everyone. Amazake (sweet sake) is handed out. Once the "Masuichi Kyakuden" hotel is opened, it will become an even more fulfilling New Year. Everyone should take care to cherish once-in-a-lifetime encounters.

"Roku" is a delicious, milky sake, and Masuichi's 6th (roku, in Japanese) unique sake. Masuichi's "doburoku" sake was revived after 100 years, but since even sake made based on tax laws needs to have its name approved by the tax office, in the end the name "Doburoku" could not be used. For this reason, the name was changed to "Roku" in the end.

Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery - Roku
A half-marathon for the sake of showing off the sights of Obuse, first held in 2003. It was a small event for a small town, but people really went all-out, and it seems that a half-marathon was just the right size. Hopefully this grassroots event will create waves and prevent Obuse from disappearing from the map. With the help of the local strength, the Obuse mini Marathon will surely stick around for a long time, making waves in ocean-less Obuse every Marine Day.

Obuse mini Marathon

In 2003 the 15th and 30th of every month became days to clean up the area around you. Now the 1530 Project aims to change this from 24 times a year to 24 hours a day, and truly make this a town without trash. In Japanese, 1350 can be pronounced "ichi-gomi-zero" which can also mean "city-garbage-zero." Hopefully this project will one day become an NPO, and Obuse will be a pleasant town no matter where you walk.


A project for restoring traditional kawara tiles, started in 2005. An application for special privileges was submitted to the government. Up until 1953 there was a factory for making baked clay kawara tiles, but now there are so few of these places in the country, that they can be counted on one hand. Let's aim towards being a more recycling-friendly company that takes care of the local soil. Things must be changed now to carry on the Japan we all know to the next generation.

Japanese craftsmanship is undoubtedly the most well-known in the world. It is through its craftsmanship that the wonder of Japan can best be expressed. Because of this, the Shukei Jigyo corporation was started in 2004 with the desire to change the craftsmen of today into something more like the craftsmen of the Meiji era, with the ability to both plan out projects as well as carry them out on the scene.

Shukei Jigyo Corporation
Obuse mini Marathon Bunji Gallery Company Publications
Oke OK 1530 (Ichi Gomi Zero) About Sarah
Obusession Revival of Danna Bunka Obuse Bunka
Obuse Culture
Danna Bunka

Obuse's Danna Bunka
  - Tenmei Gura (Restoration Plans After the Fire)
  - Relationship between Hokusai and Kozan
  - Intellectual Culture Salon "Yuzenro"
  - Hekiiken (Artist's Residence)
  - Kurabu (Taisho Romance)
  - Tenant Farms in Go-cho
  - Woman's Suffrage in the Edo Period
  - Obuse's Festival Floats
  - Wealthy Merchants and the Market Town
  - Public Space
  - Education Movement of the Early Meiji

Revitilization of Danna Bunka

  - Masuichi Kyakuden (Guest House)
  - Obuse mini Marathon
  - Obusession
  - The Club
  - Nagano Olympic
  Hospitality Program
  - International Hokusai Conference and Hokusai Festival
  - Obuse-kei
  - 1530 Project
  - Society for the Preservation of Wooden Barrel Brewing and Fermentation

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