IQ is a well-known intelligence quotient. In contrast, there is also the term EQ. It is often referred to as the intelligence quotient of the mind. Recently, the requirements for success in business have shifted from the conventional thinking that simply being smart and having a high IQ is enough, to the need for EQ, empathy, and a high sense of ethics.

By the way, this explains why Asahi Shuzo Sake Brewery, which until recently called itself a "small sake brewery" deep in the mountains of Yamaguchi, has the largest production staff, which is over 170, in the sake industry. (Indeed, "small sake brewery" was the fourth largest in the Iwakuni Sake Brewers Association in the past, in terms of volume).

This is because IQ may be able to be replaced by machines, but EQ cannot be replaced by machines. We might be able to develop the quality of Sake if we subdivide the brewing technology to any extent. But to do so would cost a tremendous amount of money. Dassai is able to maintain its current prices because people are responsible for this part of the process.

Every time I hear people in the sake industry or self-proclaimed sake fanatics say, “Dassai is made by machines and data (I heard that from someone, though I have never seen it) (of course, I can't remember that someone) It's a boring sake, isn't it?", the faces of all the hard-working production team members come to mind and it make me sad.

Well, there is no point in worrying about it, but I heard an interesting story the other day. A food journalist, who is also an expert on European wines and Scotch whisky, said to me, "It's amazing that a single brewery has 170 people as its production staffs! Not so many staffs in a wine or champagne maison. Even Scotch whisky is made by a dozen or so people in most distilleries. Certainly, there are wineries with huge production in South America, but then the productions is mostly automated and doesn't have so many people, which is similar to the case of large sake breweries.

I am sure there are beer breweries that have more production staffs than ours, even if they are mechanized, because the production volume of beer is indeed a different order of magnitude larger. Excluding such beer breweries, the journalist said "I believe Dassai brewery has the largest production team in the world.”

I think this is possible because Dassai methodology of "making good sake" is peculiarity of Japan. In other words, we value “tema”, which means caring more with time and effort for the quality. That is why we need a lot of manpower. Moreover, it is not just a matter of taking time and making effort, but by doing so, we can create something that is even a little better. Dassai was born from the uniquely Japanese way of thinking “tema”, that might be difficult to understand and is quite different from way of thinking of the Western old capitalism, which regards "tema” or taking time as inefficiency.

Anyway, "the largest production team in the world" sounds pretty good to me.

“I wish I could have talked to Abe san, former Prime Minister, about what I wrote here so far."

Now, I'm going to Abe san’s prefectural funeral.