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"HOUMEISHU” Traditional liqueur for good health

"Explanatory Note of “HOUMEISHU”

In 1659 (Edo Period), a doctor of Chinese medicine, Kichibei Nakamura, received an authorization to brew Houmeishu from the feudal lord of Fukuyama.

The lord of Fukuyama looked at Houmeishu with favor as one of the representative industries of this area, and mainly used it as gifts to court nobles (Kugue) in Kyoto, The Shogun in Tokyo, and other feudal lords in Japan. In those days, travel by sea was common and the Tomo port of Fukuyama was prosperous. Houmeishu has been distributed mainly by sea to the principal cities of Japan.

Houmeishu is also famous as an aperitif, and was used at the reception party of Admiral Matthew Calbraith Perry and his officers in 1854 (Ansei 1).

The Nakamura family continued to maintain prosperity until 1872 (Meiji 5) soon after the new order was enforced by the Meiji Government.

In 1886 (Meiji 29), Toyosaburou Irie started brewing Houmeishu, taking over some principal workers from the Nakamura brewery. The Irie family has continued brewing without suspension for more than 100 years.

Houmeishu is produced from polished glutinous rice (mocha gome) and molded rice (koji), mixed with 40% alcohol (shouchu), and then ripened for 60 days at room temperature. The undiluted solution of Houmeishu is the squeezed liquid of this ripened mixture.

16 kinds of herbs are packed in cotton bags, and preserved in undiluted alcoholic solution for 30-45 days. During this period, medical materials are extracted from herbs. The solution is filtered and stocked in enameled tanks with a capacity of 3,000 -4,000 liters, ready for bottling.

HHoumeishu is 14% alcohol, and it tastes sweet. About 30ml of Houmeishu before each meal as an aperitif, or before sleeping, will keep you in good health.

The principal herbs used in Houmeishu are as follows.

JIOU----------------(Rehmannia Glutinosa Libosch)
KUKOSHI---------( Lycium Chinense Mill)
SOUJYUTSU-----(Atractylodes Japonica Koidz)
KEIHI--------------(Cinnamomum Cassia Blume)
KIKUKA-----------(Chrysanthemum Morifolium)
KANZOU-----------(Glycyrrhiza Uralensis)
OUSEI--------------(Polygonatum Sibiricum Redoute)
INYOUKAKU-----(Epimedium Sagittatum)
SHYAKUYAKU---(Paeonia Lactiflora Pall)
KORAI NINJIN--(Panax Ginseng)
SENKYU-----------(Cnidium Officinale)
BUKURYO---------(Poria Cocos Wolf)

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