The Muromachi Period (1336-1573) - The Evolution of “Souboushu” (sake brewed in large temples)

Souboushu (sake brewed in large temples) saved temples from financial difficulties, and was gradually consumed among the ruling class.
The production of souboushu started during the Heian Period (794-1185), when temples with shoen (manors with land managed by the temple) started producing sake from rice collected as annual tributes for shrine rituals. Buildings referred to as sake shops existed in the Todai-ji and Daigoji Temples.
Temples started selling commercial sake from the late Kamakura Period (1192-1333) into the early Muromachi Period (1392-1573).
In farming villages where riots broke out repeatedly, the economic base was unstable. Sake sales were started to ensure a source of revenue for temples.
Despite the common belief that monks are prohibited from consuming sake, alcohol was prohibited in principle only.
Until the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Buddhism was not clearly distinguished from Shintoism, thus Buddhist temples were commonly built adjacent to Shinto shrines. Therefore, sake for festivities as offerings to Shinto gods was produced in Buddhist temples, and despite sake being prohibited according to temple rules, sake was commonly consumed in low volumes.