“Kojiki” is known as Japan’s oldest history book and it is believed that “Kojiki” was completed in 712. It is a mythological storybook and the story of Izumo Mythologies about “Yamata-no-orochi” (an eight-headed snake) is especially famous. “Yamata-no-orochi” is a legendary big snake with eight heads that features in Japanese mythological stories. When Susanoo-no-mikoto (a male deity) visited the Izumo region, he met an old couple who were collapsing in tears. Susanoo asked them the reason why and the couple said, “We had eight daughters but Yamata-no-orochi which has eight heads and eight tails came every year and ate our daughters one by one. The time is approaching that Yamata-no-orochi will come and it will eat our last daughter this year.” Susanoo decided to exterminate this snake. First of all, he transformed the daughter into a hair comb and hid her inside his hair. He then told the old couple to brew strong seven-times-squeezed Sake and to place a barrel filled with it at each of the eight gates. This type of Sake is called “Yashiorinosake” (a high-quality sake brewed several times).

THE HISTORY OF SAKE

Sake in Japanese mythology

So Yamata-no-orochi appeared but Susanoo succeeded in putting the big snake to sleep with the strong Sake. He then destroyed the snake by cutting it into pieces. As seen from the above, Sake appears in the world of mythology. By virtue of Sake’s mystic force, it seems to have been an important part of mythology. Also, through the appearance of Sake in such an old book as this, we can see that Sake was familiar to many people from the very beginning.