Brewing sake since 1637

Japan's tradition of sake making began more than 2,000 years ago shortly after rice cultivation was introduced from China. Though the first few centuries yielded a beverage quite unlike that of today, years of experience perfected brewing techniques and increased sake's overall appeal and popularity.

In 1637, Gekkeikan's founder, Jiemon Okura established his sake brewery in the town of Fushimi, a location just south of Kyoto, well-known for its abundant and high-quality water. Access to the ideal ingredients combined with a convenient location enabled Okura and his successors' business to thrive in the years that followed.

In 1905, the brand name GEKKEIKAN (meaning "crown of laurel") was adopted as the company's formal pledge to excellence. Through this commitment, the company became a true leader in the industry and pioneered a number of research and development efforts. The successful results of these endeavors have enabled Gekkeikan to become one of the nation's most popular brands.


With a greater world wide appreciation of Japanese cuisine over the last decades, Gekkeikan sake has been experiencing a tremendous growth in popularity.

To meet this increase in demand, Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc. was established in Folsom, California in 1989. Today, Gekkeikan's passion for pleasing the sake connoisseur remains unchanged. Dedicated just as the founder was over 380 years ago, both Gekkeikan Japan and Gekkeikan USA continue the tradition of both taste and quality.


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Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum

Chronological Table of Gekkeikan Sake

  • 1637

    Jiemon Okura, founder of the company known today as Gekkeikan Sake Co., Ltd., opens his brewery "Kasagiya" in Fushimi; names the Sake "Tama-no-lzumi".
  • 1887

    Tsunekichi Okura, the company's 11th successor, boldly sets about to expand the business.
  • 1909

    For the first time in the sake brewing industry, sake brewing methods are scientifically analyzed through Gekkeikan's establishment of the "Okura Sake Brewing Research Institute" (currently the "Gekkeikan General Research Institute").
  • 1911

    Bottled sake with no added preservatives introduced.
  • 1927

    Company incorporated as Okura Tsunekichi Shoten, Co., Ltd.; construction of Japan's first ferroconcrete sake brewery completed.
  • 1931

    The sake industry's first full-fledged bottling plant is established.
  • 1944

    Company renamed "Okura Sake Company, Ltd."
  • 1961

    Advanced brewing techniques developed enabling Gekkeikan Sake to be brewed throughout the year.
  • 1984

    Aseptic filling system installed.
  • 1985

    Nama Sake ("Draft Sake") produced using ultra micro-filter technology.
  • 1987

    Company renamed "Gekkeikan Sake Company, Ltd." in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of establishment and 60th anniversary of incorporation.
  • 1989

    Overseas brewing by Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc. commences in Folsom, California.
  • 1993

    Establishment of new head office building in Fushimi.
  • 2007

    Company celebrates its 370th anniversary.
  • 2009

    Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc. celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
  • 2017

    Company celebrates its 380th anniversary.
  • 2019

    Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc. celebrates its 30th anniversary.