Many young Japanese people aren’t drinking sake these days
More commonly known in Japan as nihonshu, sake is the iconic Japanese beverage made from fermented rice, known and loved all over the world. So popular is the alcoholic drink that even internationally renowned musicians like Ed Sheeran and Foo Fighters collaborated with an esteemed Japanese breweries to make their own sake.
In fact, the 180-year-old brewery that the Foo Fighters collaborated with, the Tatenokawa sake brewery in Yamagata Prefecture, recently did an independent study that looked into the sake drinking habits of young Japanese people.
The survey asked 10,000 men and women ranging in age between their 20s and 60s how often they drank sake. Out of those who responded in their twenties or thirties, 28 percent said they had not drunk sake for over a year, and 42 percent responded saying they’d never drunk sake before, meaning 70 percent of young people surveyed had not had any sake in over a year.
The survey also revealed a gender discrepancy, with 74 percent of all women surveyed having not drunk any sake for over a year. Women also tended to prefer drinking sake with family or friends, while more male respondents said they drank sake alone. With the coronavirus making it difficult for people to have big drinking parties, the Tatenokawa brewery is concerned that this may result in less women drinking sake in the future.
Netizens seemed mostly unsurprised by the results of the survey, with many mulling over the reasons behind sake’s apparent fading popularity.
“Sake always gives me really bad hangovers, even if I drink just a little bit.”
“Decent sake is expensive. Young people might not be drinking it because it’s just too expensive.”
“Lots of people these days just don’t drink alcohol, period. It’s not so much ‘I don’t drink sake’ as ‘I don’t drink at all’.”
“I stick to drinking spirits. It seems healthier somehow.”
“I drink sake at work parties, but I’d never drink it if I had to choose.”
The brewery hopes the results of the survey can be used to think of new ways to enjoy sake moving forward. We don’t claim to be sake experts, but we’d recommend mixing some sake with other popular products — like Kit Kats, for example.
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