The founder of Kunimare Sake Brewery and a devoted businessman who endeavored to bring prosperity to Mashike: Taizo Honma

Kunimare Sake Brewery was founded by Taizo Honma in 1882. Prior to that, Taizo was operating kimono business under the name of Maruichihonma. As his business burgeoned, Taizo entered then-thriving herring fishing industry as well as sake brewing business. He was also running general store, and shipping business not only for the business reasons, but also to fulfill the needs of the local residents.
Sake brewing business had been operating as Sake Brewing Department within Maruichihonma General Partnership Company since 1902. On the company’s centennial anniversary in 2001, the name was changed to Kunimare Sake Brewery Company Limited.
Our signature sake brand name and also the current company name, KUNIMARE, once used to be KUNINOHOMARE. It wasn’t until 1920 that the sake was named after a former army general, Maresuke Nogi, and debuted as the flagship sake: KUNIMARE.
Taizo was profoundly impressed by the general’s personality; after returning to Mashike, he re-named the brand name from KUNINOHOMARE to KUNIMARE by incorporating one character received from General Nogi’s first name. The name implies “A quality Sake that’s rare to find nationwide”


The founder of Kunimare Sake Brewery, Taizo Honma, was born in 1849 in a city of Sado in Niigata prefecture. After working as a Bantou (General Manager) of a kimono boutique in Otaru, he immigrated to Mashike in 1875. As a start, Taizo established his own kimono business. He then continued to helm new businesses and infrastructure development in the promotion of Mashike’s future prosperity.

KUNIMARE: Soul-Sake that’s been comforting Mashike’s people for generations.

During Meiji period, when KUNIMARE was first brewed, there used to be many other sake breweries around. Today, Kunimare Sake Brewery is the only remaining brewery in Mashike. Passed down from generation to generation, KUNIMARE is still loved by the local people.