【Kyogen】A mysterious dragon dances in “crest design”
Kyogen has designed the label for the Japanese sake “Shoryu no Mai” (Junmai Daiginjo & Junmai Ginjo), made from miraculous rice.
Inheriting the skill of Monsho-uwaeshi, craftsmen skilled in the art of drawing family crests onto kimono using ink and brushes,Kyogenis participating in a project of the Edo Tokyo Kirari Project. We have developed a new style of family crest design that combines the technique of drawing crests by hand with digital technology. Recently, we have been involved in a wide range of activities, including producing crest designs for commercials of a major hamburger restaurant chain and exhibitions at a major apparel store.
Shoryu Hatoba and Yohji Hatoba of Kyogen, inheritors of this art of the crest, have designed the label for a new sake from Hirata Sake Brewery (Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture) released this spring, “Shoryu no Mai” (Junmai Daiginjo & Junmai Ginjo). Inspired by the sightseeing course known as “The Dragon Route” that goes north from Ise to Takayama and Noto, “Junmai Daiginjo Shoryu no Mai” uses 100% “Isehikari” rice from Ise, while “Junmai Ginjo Shoryu no Mai” is a mixture of “Isehikari” and Gifu’s “Hidahomare” rice. Both are auspicious liquors made with the image of a dragon rising from the high mountains.
Isehikari was given birth to in the sacred fields (imperial estates*) that serve for offerings to Ise Grand Shine (Ise Jingu). In 1989, as a result of two devastating typhoons, it appeared that all of the sacred offering “Koshihikari” rice had been wiped out; but miraculously, two plants survived, which themselves were regarded as miracles not to be let out of the gate. Now, however, as “a new strain of rice given by the gods,” Ise Grand Shrine has shared the seeds with the public. It is now cultivated in many places under the name “Isehikari.” As with these two miraculous rice plants, on the label is drawn a mysterious pair of dragons, “Aun no Ryu” (dragons in perfect synchrony) using the technique of Mon-Mandara®︎
(crest mandala). Drawn using large and small circles, “Mon-Mandara®︎” is an original form of art created by Shoryu Hatoba, in which the technique of painting crests by hand is combined with digital technology. Shoryu no Mai is drawn using 4033 circles. “Shoryu no Mai,” itself a miracle. It has a fragrance that unfolds slowly after opening, and matching well with various dishes, it can be enjoyed while dining. This is the birth of an art bottle that appeals to all five senses.
*A place or facility that receives offerings to the gods.
Shoryu no Mai, Mon-Mandara: Hatoba Shoryu
Shoryu no Mai, book & calligraphy: Yohji Hatoba
Direction: Ryuhei Toda
Product name: Junmai Daiginjo Shoryu no Mai
Volume 720 ml, Price 11,000 yen (tax included)
Product name: Junmai Ginjo Shoryu no Mai
Volume 720 ml, Price 2,420 yen (tax included)
Inquiries: Hirata Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.