A traditional 'Jichinsai' ceremony has been held at the construction site of the UK's first sake brewery in East Cambridgeshire.
The event is a traditional Shinto ceremony undertaken to purify the building site, prior to laying the foundations and to pray for the safety of the people involved in the construction.
The build is expected to take nine months to complete, with the first production of sake available in October 2017. Once the build has finished, the Dojima sake brewery aim to make 10,000 bottles in its first trading year.
His Excellency ambassador Koji Tsuruoka who attended the event commented: “Although this is a ceremony that happens in Japan when a new building is being constructed, it has never happened in the UK and I was very happy to be a part of it. The ceremony showed the respect that the two countries have for the tradition and it is through appreciation of these historical and cultural treasures that the two countries are bound very strongly together.”
Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire said: “The ceremony was fascinating and shows what a diverse area we are in. It’s great to have a new and interesting business establishing itself in the region and it will bring a great deal to the constituency in financial terms, as well as culturally.”
Yoshihide Hashimoto, owner of the Dojima Sake Brewery sadded: "We were pleased to be joined by so many people for our Jichinsai ceremony. This traditional ceremony is fundamental in the build and we were very happy to share this moment with many of the local people who have been involved in the process so far.”
Patrick Doyle of Patrick B Doyle (Construction), who have been awarded the contract for the build says: “We were honoured to be invited to the Jichinsai ceremony and blessed by the Shinto Priest for our work on the build. We are thrilled to be involved in such a prestigious project and look forward to the upcoming months.”
Cllr Steve Cheetham, Service Delivery Champion from East Cambridgeshire District Council says: “We are very pleased that the Dojima Sake Brewery decided to make East Cambridgeshire its home. Their investment into the district through using local contractors and the creation of new jobs is a great benefit to the area and we look forward to the opening of the first UK sake brewery.
The construction of the building will see £9m invested over a period of five years. The project was given unanimous planning approval by East Cambridgeshire District Council and is set to create up to 10 local jobs initially, both on the build process, as well as in the Sake brewery and the accompanying visitors centre which will be located on site.
13 November 2016 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant