Skip to Content

Events - 12.03.2018

Brewing Happiness | Secrets Behind a Century-old Sake-making Family Business




7:00 PM – 9:00 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



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.


Registration has closed.

Speaker Profile

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.

This program is organized by The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, and supported by JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles.

*2017 survey by Tokyo Shoko Research, LTD.

Back To Top