As usual, here's a slightly delayed delivery of my impressions on the TV broadcast. Sorry about that. Despite being on the program myself, I seem to have what you might call "slow reflexes" (which is just a nice way of saying I'm slow-witted, right?) and it takes me a while to react. Anyway, regarding last week's NHK BS program, after a year-long pursuit of coverage and capturing a vast amount of footage, they managed to condense it into 50 minutes, and they edited it with all the good parts, as expected. The truth isn't as glamorous, though.

On another note, I'm currently reading a guidebook by the project leader. The author is a well-known consultant, and almost all of his books become bestsellers. I found three of them on my bookshelf. And of course, this book is also very interesting!

However, I was taken aback by a passage at the beginning: "I've never let a project go up in flames because I only took on projects I knew I could win." As someone who constantly says, "It's definitely not going well," reading this just makes me feel even more foolish. After all, I've only taken on projects that ended in failure. So, all I can do is hold my head and reflect, saying, "You're right, I'm a fool."

But while holding my head, I've been thinking. I recall numerous failures. For instance, there was the craft beer restaurant I opened by the riverside near the Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni. We aimed to train young brewers in anticipation of the aging of our master brewers, realizing that the traditional cold brewing method wouldn't provide income during the summer. The intention to create summer jobs for them was admirable, but it led to overinvestment and a sloppy business plan. We had to close down in just three months. However, thanks to this failure, our prized master brewer, feeling uncertain about receiving his salary, fled, and we had no choice but to adopt our current system of "employees making sake." Consequently, we abandoned the traditional cold brewing method, which only operated in the winter, and transitioned to year-round brewing, leading to our current production system.

There have been many instances where we went against the logical choice due to economic rationality. For example, despite the anticipated friction with entities like the Yamaguchi Prefecture Office, we consolidated our sake rice exclusively to Yamada Nishiki. We challenged the making of Junmai Daiginjo sake, which no one in the sake brewing industry attempted, without an established mass production technology or market, and placed it right in the heart of our brewery's product line. Ignoring the advice of our seniors, instead of relying on the local market, we ventured outside Yamaguchi Prefecture and found a foothold in the Tokyo market.

Even the decision to build a brewery in America, at this stage, cannot be considered a highly rational judgment.

However, looking back now, I can only say, "Because I wanted to." It's almost as if I was "seduced by the devil."

What's even more mysterious is that, no matter how much I think about it, without all these failures, Asahi Brewery wouldn't exist as it does today. Looking back, I think, "If I hadn't done that at the time, I wouldn't have lost those hundreds of millions of yen," or "Choosing this path would have been more profitable." But when I consider the results of those rational choices, all I can think of is a brewery about one-twentieth the size of our current revenue, clever but commonplace, which could be found all over the country. I believe we've become a reasonably successful brewery in Yamaguchi Prefecture, but probably just that. I can't explain the current status of Dassai.

From the standpoint of modern marketing norms, it seems like I've walked a path littered with nothing but failures, ones where people would say, "You're foolish."

No matter how much I think about it... I'm foolish, aren't I? But I wanted to. Well, to be honest, this fate was sealed when I inherited Asahi Brewery forty years ago, when it was in a state of utter hopelessness—no sales, no money, no sense of crisis among those involved. I am grateful for this life opportunity.