Previous to the year 1878 no scientific account of the brewing of sake had appeared, the principal papers which had been published being a translation by Professor J.J. Hofmann, of Leyden, of an article from the Japanese Encylopaedia, 1714, and a paper in the transactions of the German Asiatic Society of Japan by Dr. Hofmann, then Professor in the Medical School of the University of Tokyo. In December, 1878, Mr. O. Korschelt published an elaborate paper on the subject in the same transactions, in which he gave a detailed description of two processes used in Tokyo, and the results of special experiments made by himself, after which it seemed that very little more could be said. But continued study of the brewing-process has yielded results which enable us to explain with greater accuracy the chemical changes involved in the manufacture, and although much yet remains to be achieved, the present essay will, I trust, be accepted as another rung in the endless ladder of scientific investigation.

In carrying out this research I have been assisted in very various ways by a number of friends, all of whom it would be impossible to mention individually, but I should with reason incur the charge of ingratitude did I not put in the front rank Mr. Kato, President, and Mr. Hattori, Vice-President, of the University, to whom indeed the very existence of this memoir is owing. My thanks are also due to Mr. Jihei Kamayama and to Mr. Tobei Isuka, of Yushima, Tokyo, Proprietors of the koji and sake works, respectively; to Mr. Mansuke Izumi, of Nishinomiya, and to Mr. Shinyemon Konishi, of Itami, to all of whom I owe much valuable information.

To M. Pasteur I am indebted for permission to make use of plates 17, 18, and 19, taken from his "Etudes sur le Vin". Without the cordial cooperation of my assistant, Mr. Naka-zawa, my task would have been much more difficult, and thus publicly I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to him. Plate 16 I owe to Professor Ewing, and Professor Cooper has with the greatest kindness looked over the proofs for me.

The substance of Part I of this memoir was communicated to the Royal Society of London in a Paper read on 10th March 1881.

The printing of the memoir was carried out at the Government Printing Office (Insetsu Kiyoku), and the plates were engraved by the Gengendo Engraving Company.

The accompanying French (metric) and English equivalents of the Japanese weights and measures used in the text will prove of assistance to those who are not familiar with them.

Table 1: Japanese, Metric, and English Weights




1 kuwamme (kw.)

= 3.75 kilos

= 8.28 pounds.

1 shaku

=0.30303 meter

= 0.9942 ft.

1 cho (= 10 tan)

= 0.99174 hectare

= 2.45 acres


= 180.39 liters

= 4.963 bushels = 39.7 gallons

1 yen (paper) (= 100 sen)

University of Tokyo, Japan May 1881

Figure 1: Sake Brewery

iNTJ-riiion or sauk khewejiv.
Lactic Acid Power Curve

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