Who Was Prince Nagaya?

Prince Nagaya of the Ancient Imperial Family

We named our sake after Prince Nagaya, a key historical figure and member of the Imperial Family who lived in Heijo-kyo, which was the Japanese capital 1,300 years ago.

An Imperial Pedigree and a Sharp Mind

Prince Nagaya was the grandson of Emperor Temmu, the 40th Emperor of Japan and the ancestor of the present 126th Emperor. Although he never ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne himself, Prince Nagaya was a particularly effective politician, occupying a central role in Japanese politics of the day and advancing several measures to quell social unrest, stabilize the country, and put down rebellions.

Prince Nagaya and Banquets

A famed gourmand, Prince Nagaya received specialties from all over Japan as tribute, and is said to have held lavish banquets at his mansion on a daily basis. We can assume that the sake that inspired our Prince Nagaya sake was served at these feasts. Excavations at the remains of Prince Nagaya's residence revealed the remnants of an icehouse, which would have been quite a rarity in those days. It seems that Prince Nagaya had access to ice even at the height of summer, so he and his guests could enjoy cool, refreshing cups of sake served on the rocks amidst the blistering heat.