Teiseihakushu (Japanese sake with low rice polishing rate) (低精白酒)

Teiseihakushu is a kind of Japanese sake developed around 2005. It mainly refers to Nihonshu Junmaishu (sake made without added alcohol or sugar) with the rice-polishing ratio of about 80 percent. Before then, the rice-polishing ratio was set at 70 percent or lower. It was considered that low quality sake equivalent to Nihonshu Futsushu (ordinary quality sake) was produced with the polishing ratio of 75 percent or higher. So the polishing ratios of 75 percent or higher were thought little of. However, it can be said that teiseihakushu is a kind of sake daringly pursued in the opposite direction. It has a feature of simple flavor and umami (taste) which rice originally has.

In the making of sake, the more sakamai (rice for brewing sake) is polished, the more part around the rice grain which is cause of zatsumi (unfavorable taste of sake) is got rid of. In the end only shinpaku (the center structure of sake-brewing-rice) is left. In order to produce the high-class sake including Nihonshu Ginjoshu (high-quality sake brewed at low temperatures from rice grains milled to 60 % weight or less), it is considered that such high level rice-polishing technique, that is, low rice-polishing ratio, is indispensable. Nowadays, high-class sake with polishing ration of 30 percent is not rare.

However, before a vertical-type rice-milling machine which was developed in 1930's, sake was produced with low level rice polishing technique, that is, with sakamai of high polishing ratio. In that sense, it can be also said that teiseihakushu has been developed to seek the good old taste which sake originally had.

And as for regulations about the polishing ratio of junmaishu (sake made without added alcohol or sugar), there was a provision until 2003 that said 'junmaishu shall be made with polishing ratio of 70 percent or less.'
But, as the provision has been eliminated in 2004, it became possible to produce these kind of sake.

In addition, the sake has been produced partly with a view to obtaining the customers in overseas market who are pleased with sake as 'wine made from only rice (rice wine).'

[Original Japanese]