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Watch: One Family’s 800-Year History With Sake

And how it recovered from a natural disaster

Sake is a time-honored tradition in Japan, with a history dating to at least the 3rd century. The Sudo family hasn't been producing the beverage that long, but it has been in the business for nearly a millennium. This video tells the family's 55-generation story, as well as how it has persevered since Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

"We had decided that we would discontinue sake-making altogether if the water tested positive for radiation," Genuemon Sudo says in the video, detailing what his family faced following Fukushima's nuclear meltdown after the earthquake. "We immediately had radioactivity analysis on our property and found out it wasn't affected at all."

While the Sudos' property wasn't tainted with radiation, it was damaged in the quake. But with the cultural significance of its product in mind, the family was not deterred in its recovery efforts.

"Sake is rooted in our daily life in Japanese culture," Sudo says. "The aspects of our heritage are reflected in it. Sake embodies our sensibilities that we experience throughout our daily lives."

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