Okinawa has its own distinctive history and culture different from other prefectures in Japan.
Local sake "Awamori" is one of the unique features of Okinawa culture.
From the fact that there are similar distilled spirits in general, roots of Awamori with a history of 500 years to 600 years, is said to originate from Southeast Asia, such as Thailand (Siam), or China.
However, distilled spirits using mold (Awamori koji kabi) are only seen in Awamori which makes Okinawa the only place to create the method of it, and been fostered among the climate and culture of Okinawa.
In the time of Ryukyu Kingdom, “Awamori Maker (allowed only for certain artisan)” lived in the area called “Shuri Sanka” which were Akata, Sakiyama, Torihori, and only allowed to produce Awamori under direct supervision of Ryukyu government. Production of Awamori were used in royal events, trading, or as tribute to the Edo government.
The name "Awamori" began to be used from the late 17th century, before then it was "Saki", "Shigechi Saki", or "Okusuri (medicine)". There are several theories to the origin of the name of Awamori.
Various theories do exist but are not defined yet.
The founder of Zuisen Distillery Co., Ltd was an Awamori Maker (allowed only for certain artisan) from Sakiyama, one of “Shuri Sanka” which carries on the traditions of proud heritage Awamori, Couth.