Important Notice: I am not endorsing alcohol nor its impacts in underage drinking even sake in anime.
Today is a post concerning the culture represented in an anime movie going by the title of Your Name. Your Name follows Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana who are connected to one another in a strange fashion. The only way that I can discuss the connection is the link between them is sometimes switching bodies. The genres are classified as drama and supernatural types of anime. We see the connection of someone’s life in the emotional fixes or drama aspect and the supernatural twist of somehow switching bodies. There is a scene that mentions Kuchikamizake or a rice-based sake in the anime movie. I am going to explain some of the science of sake and cultural background of it in anime. Sake is a drink that is an alcoholic beverage that is highly popular in Japanese culture and anime. Sake is often seen in the drinking of comrades or high social situations in anime where the drinking has significance in the plots. Kuchikamizake is a type of sake where rice is fermented and reveals a sweat flavor than of traditional strong tasting alcohol. Rice is a difficult process in where the starch in the chemical structure involves yeast breaking down the sugar content. Just so you know, starches are considered complex carbohydrates (carbs) where yeast cannot break it down as easily like glucose (simple carbs). To combat this issue over starches breaking down, you need a mold going by the name of Aspergillus Oryzae. Koji is another name for the mold and this creates a chemical reaction that turns the starch molecules into sugar. Historically, before the discovery of the mold, there were people actually chewing on bits rice to break the starch content. The human salvia contains bacteria that turns rice into sugar and makes digestion of starches easier. Important fact, alcohol contains aseptic properties, and back in the day, any trace of human salvia was instantly killed in the brewing process. Kuchikamizake is commonly made and found at sites of shrines in Japan. I strongly suggest that if anime science peaks your interest, then Chris Meharg’s articles would explain your some of your interests in anime.