This is a sake (rice wine) brewery that was established in Morioka, Iwate, in 1917. Its kura (storehouse) was built later during the second quarter of the 20th century. The brewery was established by local residents who pooled their money because there were no brewers of seishu (refined rice wine) in the region and illicit production of nigorizake (unrefined rice wine) had become widespread. At the time of the breweryʼs founding, the kuroudo (brewery workers) lived on the second floor, and the tōji (brewmaster) lived on the first floor. Sake production is carried out from November to March to take advantage of the winter cold. In the space where the rice is washed, refined, and steamed, cold air is brought in from a continuous line of wooden double sliding windows along the north side while the steam from the steamed rice is expelled from a large vent and clerestory windows positioned above the kama (cauldron). These windows help lower the room temperature and rapidly cool the steamed rice.
Iwanoi Shuzo (Iwanoi Brewery)
Refined Rice Wine / Morioka, Iwate
This article is an excerpt from “Window Workology,” a joint research project concerning windows and the behaviors around them done in collaboration with Tokyo Institute of Technologyʼs Yoshiharu Tsukamoto Laboratory.