About us

The roots of Suzumon

Suzumon is a time-honored Kishu brewery since 1838. We have kept brewing in Tanabe-city in Wakayama prefecture, where Nakahechi and Ohechi, two routes of Kumano Kodo trails, run through. Suzuki Souemon was our manager, who also contributed to developing a hydroelectric power plant in Tanabe city in Taisho era (1912-1926). His spirit of yearning for prosperity of his hometown has been passed down with his name Souemon as our Japanese company name.

The origin of Suzuki family is in priests who worked for Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, according to records. The family moved from Kumano Hongu to Fujishiro in Kainan-city in 12th century, and the surname Suzuki spread nationwide as the belief in Kumano propagated. Fujishiro shrine in Kainan-city, known as the entrance to Kumano Kodo, is a venue of regularly-held “Suzuki Summit of Japan”, and it is famous as the shrine which Suzukis across Japan take a pilgrimage to.

Our family crest

The family crest of Suzumon shows a bell design that represents Kumano-Suzuki family. The crest comes from the bell called “Hon Tsubo Suzu” that is often used in a hall of worship in shrines. The bell was used to be put on a tall tree that took root in the ground where a new shrine was to be constructed and the tree was worshiped as a sacred tree. It is said that the sacred tree wearing the bell was called “Suzuki,” or bell tree.

Meanwhile, the family crest of Saika-Suzuki, known as “Saika Teppo-shu” (Saika gun troops in 15-16th century), shows the design of Yatagarasu(Japanese mythological big crow). This three-legged crow is believed to be a messenger of gods in Kumano Sanzan, or Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and Kumano Nachi Taisha shrines. It is also famous for being used for an emblem of Japan Football Association and printed on the uniform of the national team.

Suzumon and Sake

Sake has been linked so closely to shrines that we have a common saying “sacred sake is offered to every god”. Since the gratitude and prayer for good harvest of rice are key elements of Shinto, sake, or rice wine, is essential for festivals and rituals. Therefore, it was common that priests brewed sake in shrines. By the early Meiji period, sake was brewed at shrines around Japan and this tradition remains in part of shrines today. The reason why historic breweries are often found in towns developed near gates of temples and shrines is that sake brewing was entrusted to professional brewers with the increase of production. In the past, they were placed near shrines maybe because preserving technology and logistics were immature.

Long-lasting sake brewing since ancient times is handiwork that predecessors respecting gods and nature have cultivated. Suzumon continues to dedicate our sake to Toyoakizu shrine, our local tutelary god, and Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, which our ancestor has a link with, when the Rei-taisai festivals (regular rites and festivals) are held, cherishing our link with these shrines.

Brief history of Suzumon

1619
Suzuki Saburouemon Shigeharu moved to Tanabe from Kainan. The history of Suzuki family began by receiving an appanage from Mr. Ando, who was Karo (chief retainer) of Tanabe-han.
1838
According to records, Suzuki family had already begun brewing sake. Suzuki Hanuemon laid the foundation of our brewery.
1914
Suzuki Souemon took over the management around this year. Suzuki Souemon is Myoseki (professional family name) that has been succeeded in Suzuki family.
1918
We changed our name to Nakakatsu brewery.
2013
We changed our company name to Suzuki Souemon (Suzumon) brewery. This was the renewed start with going back to the roots of Suzuki family.

Company information

Name
Suzuki Souemon Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. (Suzumon)
Representative
Hiroyuki Nishida
Postal address
1305 Akitsu-cho, Tanabe-city, Wakayama 646-0005, Japan
Phone
+81-739-22-3131
FAX
+81-739-25-5550
Line of business
Production and sales of alcoholic beverages
Approval and license
Liquor manufacturer’s license: Tanabe #96
License of liquor sales: Tanabe Directive #162