Kimura Brewery Co., Ltd. was founded by Jirozaemon Kimura in 1615. The Kimura family head, Shigenari Kimura, was a retainer of the Toyotomi clan. The defeat of the Toyotomi clan by the Tokugawa clan marked the beginning of the Tokugawa era. The Toyotomi clan eventually perished in the Summer Campaign of the Siege of Osaka in 1615. However, Jirozaemon Kumura survived and fled to the Innai Silver Mine near Yuzawa, Akita. Since then, the Kimura family has produced saké. In 2015, the brewery celebrated its 400th anniversary.
The brewery previously used the name Otoko-yama (“Mountain of the Man”). In 1881, when Emperor Meiji visited Yuzawa, Grand Chamberlain Sanetsune Tokudaiji took lodgings at Kimura Brewery, and Otoko-yama was served. He praised its quality as well as its sweet, soft flavor, but he suggested that it should have a name that better represented its feminine taste: Fukumusume (“Fortunate Maiden”).
The name was eventually changed to Fukukomachi, which was derived from the “Fuku” from the previous Fukumusume and “Komachi” from Ono-no-Komachi, the legendary beauty believed to have been born in Yuzawa.
Yuzawa, which is situated in the southern part of Akita Prefecture, is known for its extremely heavy snows. While snow makes everyday life difficult, it offers incomparably favorable conditions for saké brewing. Snow on mountains brings fresh, pure water in rice fields through natural filtration, which, in turn, fosters rice that is good for brewing. During the brewing period, the ever-falling snow eliminates dust in the atmosphere. The pure winter air in Yuzawa makes it possible to brew the finest saké.
Saké is made from only two basic ingredients, rice and water, which are rather simple in taste. However, in the hands of brewers with exquisite skills, the two ingredients are turned into a fine drink with excellent fragrance, taste, and smoothness that can be proudly offered to the world. The brewing process at Kimura Brewery combines traditional techniques with cutting-edge brewing techniques using biotechnologies. The quality of the work at the brewery was recognized worldwide when daiginjô Fukukomachi was honored with the Grand Prix Champion Saké Award at the “International Wine Challenge 2012” (IWC 2012).