The Genealogy of Sake (film screening)

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March 5 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

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The Genealogy of Sake

Tuesday, March 5, 6:00PM (ET)

Doors open 5:30PM | Film Screening | In-Person | JFT Event Hall

Directed by ISHII Kaori • 2015 Documentary • 108 minutes • Presented in Japanese with English subtitles • Free Admission

A glass of Japanese sake (sah-keh) is filled with the spirit of the Japanese sake brewers, or toji. The history of Japanese sake goes back to 2000 years ago, and its brewing process is extremely detailed and complex. This documentary film follows the lives of artisans who pass on the heritage of brewing the perfect drop of sake.

The Genealogy of Sake was filmed in the bio-geographically diverse Noto peninsula, Ishikawa prefecture. The agricultural system of this region is certified as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System, and people live together sustainably with nature. To take a deeper look into Japanese sake brewing, the documentary follows the intense six month period of sake production and focuses on the lives and artistry of the Noto Peninsula toji, and the close connection they have with their environment, the past and their future.

(c) Ikkon Film Partners

Free admission. Register below.

The Japan Foundation, Toronto is hosting this film screening to honour everyone affected by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake that occurred on January 1, 2024. For information on how to support recovery and relief efforts in the Noto region in Ishikawa Prefecture, please refer to donation details in this PDF.

All sake breweries featured in The Genealogy of Sake have been damaged in some way by the Noto Earthquake. We have compiled a list of the breweries, their status, and related news articles in this information sheet

Director Profile:

ISHII Kaori graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of the Sacred Heart. While working at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology (MEXT) she studied at the Film School of Tokyo after work.

Her first documentary film, Sorry Grandma (2005) won the first prize at the Osaka Abeno Human Documentary Film Festival. Her next one, Chain of Life – The Artistry of Mokuhanzome Kimono (2006), depicted Japan’s oldest dyeing technique and was screened in many festivals around the world. She also worked as an assistant to HANEDA Sumiko, who is one of the most famous documentary filmmakers in Japan. Ishii went on to direct for television before producing her next film, A Handful of Salt (2011) which received the Best Cinematography prize at Cebu International Documentary Film Festival.

The films and programs she directs and produces are on the theme of traditional culture and craftsmanship, some of which have screened in Japan and abroad. Since 2009, Ishii has been a regular visitor to the Noto Peninsula and was invited to direct this sake-themed documentary The Genealogy of Sake which has screened at the Milan International Expo 2015 & Hawaii International Film Festival 2016. She was also involved in developing the charm of the region and people of Noto, many whom she met through the film, from various perspectives such as food events, brewery tours, and workshops.

The genealogy of the four sake kings of Noto:


March 5 @ 6:00 pm
March 5 @ 8:00 pm
Event Category:
Doors Open:
Japanese with English subtitles


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
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The Japan Foundation, Toronto
2 Bloor St. East, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 Canada
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