Brewing Happiness: Secrets Behind a Century-Old Sake-Making Family Business

JFLA Lecture Series

Brewing Happiness: Secrets Behind a Century-Old Sake-Making Family Business

Date & Time:
Monday, December 3, 2018 7pm

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, Hollywood and Highland, Level 5
(6801 Hollywood Blvd.,Los Angeles, CA 90028)

*Please take elevator to Level 5. JAPAN HOUSE is located at the Southeast corner of Hollywood & Highland on the 5th floor.




Japan is known as a nation of long-lived families and family businesses. There are more than 30,000 centuries-old companies that exist in Japan* and many of them have been family-run for many generations. 


Obata Shuzo Sake Brewery in Sado Island is an example of this tradition wherein the family business has been passed onto the subsequent generation.  Ms. Rumiko Obata, the current owner of the company, took over her family business at the age of 29.


Rumiko, the fifth-generation successor, through many difficulties and struggles, worked toward a way to elevate her family business from the local-and-traditional, to the global-and-modern market.  


In this presentation, she will talk about the most important factors for sustaining a family business over a century, and how traditional industries such as hers can stay relevant and even drive innovation in this global economy.  


Following her presentation, guests will have an opportunity to taste some of Obata Sake Brewery's signature sake.
(Guests must be 21 years of age or older to participate in the tasting.)


The presentation will be in English, and Japanese-English interpretation will be provided during the Q&A session.



*2017 survey by Tokyo Shoko Research, LTD.


About Lecturer:
Born on Sado Island in Japan, Rumiko Obata is the owner and fifth generation successor to her family's sake brewery, Obata Shuzo, which was founded in 1892. After graduating from Keio University with a degree in Political Science, Rumiko spent 7 years in Tokyo working for a movie company. However, in 1995, her passion for sake brewing lead her back to her hometown where she took over and began managing the family business. Obata Shuzo Sake Brewery has since grown and made its way into the global market. Her family's MANOTSURU sake has won the National Sake Competition gold medal 6 years in a row, as well as the gold medal at both the 2007 and 2015 International Wine Challenge in London.

Photos courtesy of Obata Shuzo Sake Brewery








Sake tasting samples provided by Vino del Sol / Kura Selections. 


This program is supported by JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES


Parking Information: 

Please remember to bring your parking ticket with you to Japan House to receive validation. Parking is validated for $2 for the first 2 hours, and $2 every 20 minutes thereafter with the daily maximum of $17. Please enter from Highland Avenue or Orange Drive.


For additional information on parking at the Hollywood and Highland Center, please see here:

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