From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kuchikamizake (口噛み酒, mouth-chewed sake) or Kuchikami no sake (口噛みの酒) is a kind of rice-based alcohol produced by a process involving mold saliva as a fermentation starter. Kuchikamizake was one of the earliest types of Japanese alcoholic drinks. Kuchi means "mouth", kami means "to chew" and zake is the rendaku form of "sake".


Kuchikamizake is brown in colour and has a sweet taste. After seven years of fermentation, it can achieve up to 76% ABV.

It is made from rotten rice; the mixture of the enzymes from mold and rice result in the fermentation process.

Some islands in Okinawa Prefecture still held shinto ceremonies involving chewed sake until the 1930s.[1][2]

Kuchikamizake is not considered the origin of nihonshu because of the differences of their times introduced to Japan, brewing methods and cultures.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2011年度南山大学人文学部人類文化学科フィールドワーク(文化人類学)I1・II2調査報告書[permanent dead link] Nanzan University, 2011, p47
  2. ^ http://awamori-news.co.jp/1980_2-26_awamori-kuchi-kami-sake_sake-made-from-rice-or-other-cereal-which-is-chewed-before-fermentation_arakaki-kana/
  3. ^ 加藤百一 (February 25, 1987). 日本の酒5000年 (in Japanese) (1st ed.). 技報堂出版. pp. 13–19. ISBN 4-7655-4212-2.
  4. ^ "口噛み酒 中南米・南太平洋・台湾・沖縄・大隅半島で醸された|知る・楽しむ お酒の博物誌|月桂冠 ホームページ" (in Japanese). Gekkeikan. Retrieved January 2, 2018.