Medieval Sake

When the age of the aristocracy ended and samurais came to the forefront, major changes took place in the world of sake production. Homemade cloudy sake common up to that point gradually became obsolete and sake breweries emerged.
Also, copper coins were imported from trades with China during this time, when the traditional barter-based economy was replaced with a monetized economy. Therefore, commercial sake production increased according to documents, while many sake breweries referred to as “Dosou” lined the streets of Kyoto and doubled as a financial institution.
During the Period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589 A.D.) leading into the Kamakura period (1185-1333), both the Imperial Court and the shogunate had financial difficulties that led to taxes imposed on sake. A document from the mid-Muromachi period (1336~1573) listed the names of over 300 sake breweries in the city of Kyoto.
Also, sake production flourished in Buddhist temples around this time. Sake produced in Buddhist temples by monks is referred to as “Soubousyu.” Produced and sold to raise profits, Soubousyu were required to be high-quality, thus sake production skills advanced greatly during this period.