Yosozake (sake brewed outside of the Kyoto area) (他所酒)

People living in Kyoto called sake (rice wine) brewed outside of the Kyoto area and brought to Kyoto as yosozake over the Muromachi period and the Edo period.

In the Muromachi period, sake breweries in Kyoto reached new heights of prosperity and the number of sake breweries in and around the capital Kyoto was over 342 in 1425. However, sake breweries with high skills gradually appeared everywhere outside of the Kyoto area, and the products from such breweries entered the Kyoto market at the lower prices than the sake brewed in Kyoto.

For those sake, sake breweries in Kyoto were strongly concerned that their sake might not be sold well. Accordingly, sake breweries in Kyoto called sake from outside of the Kyoto area as yosozake and watched out for them, and they often asked the Imperial Court and the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) for the suspension of sales. The Imperial Court and the bakufu complied with their requests reluctantly and issued the law prohibiting the buying and selling of yosozake in Kyoto.

For example, according to "The Collection of Ordinance in Kyoto" in the Edo period, the gist of furegaki (bakufu orders) issued by Kyoto City Magistrates (Kyoto machi bugyo) in April, 1698 are as follows.

Sake breweries appealed that they ran into difficulties by yosozake coming in and around the capital Kyoto. The person who bought yosozake should bring it to the Magisrate's Office immediately even if you drink it by yourself. After investigating the place of the sake production, we will tell you what you should do later.
If you neglect this furegaki and drink yosozake secretly, you will be punished.'

However, it was very rare that people accepted this prohibition and submitted their own secret yosozake obediently. Furthermore, the more this kind of prohibition was issued, the more popularity and demand for yosozake rised among the common people and cultural figures. It was also called 'nukezake' (slipped-through sake) by slipping through hatto (law) and coming to Kyoto.

For example, there is a famous story about Sanyo RAI (1780-1832) who lived in Kyoto.
He said, 'I will be an officer for every office where I can eat fish of Lake Biwa with Itami sake.'

Yosozake is the origin of jizake (local sake), which would blossom in various regions in Japan later. The most widely available sake in quantities was "Otsu sake" entering from Omi Province, a neighbor on the east. In the earliest years, sake from Itami City, Nada gogo (five districts in Nada), and Nishinomiya City, which would be a main kudari-zake (sake shipped from Kyoto and Osaka to Edo) in the Edo period, was also called yosozake.

In the Azuchi-Momoyama period, commercial distribution was internationalized by the trade with Spain and Portugal, and sake of southern barbarians, Awamori from Ryukyu, a rare sake and herb liquor from China and Korea, arak (anise-flavored liqueur) and wine from Arabia and the Mediterranean regions also entered Kyoto as yosozake.

Over time, yosozake become famous, such as Itami sake, which was designated as gozenshu (high quality sake) for Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians"), and it raised the prices of yosozake. In the late Edo period, a reversal phenomenon, which was intentionally branded a barrel of Kyoto sake as Itami sake and sold as yosozake in Kyoto at the higher prices disguisedly, occurred.