Ceramic Workshop with Imahiko Kawamura

A special event, exclusively for the British Sake Association.

In this workshop you are invited to make your very own sake pots with the renowned Japanese potter Imahiko Kawamura. Ima-san will guide you as you make a choko (cup) and either a tokkuri (bottle) or katakuchi (lipped dish for pouring sake), using a slab or coiled technique (no wheels).

When: Monday 15th April 2019  from 6.30- 8..30 pm
Where: 100 Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1 0LS (nearest tube: Angel) 

Cost:  £45 Members £55 non-members (includes all materials – for two vessels – glazing and firing.) Japanese nibbles and of course some sake to keep you going! Bookings via events@britishsakeassociation.org


About the Event

As this is primarily a ceramics event we will present one sake only, but at two or three different temperatures: room, chilled and warm, so this will be a chance to try out different drinking vessels, and different temperatures. Throughout, Ima-san and Shirley will chat informally about ceramics, as well as introducing us to some of the guiding principles of Japanese tableware. 

We will begin at 6.30 prompt and pack up at 8.30. At the end of the session Ima-san will take your pots away, and glaze and fire them for you at her kiln. Finished pots will be returned to you after firing (details of how we do this to be confirmed on the night)

Imahiko Kawamura is a ceramic artist who exhibits regularly at museums and galleries in the UK and Japan. She specializes in making decorative porcelain vessels and vases with a crystalline glaze, using methods based on Japanese tableware. She enjoys passing on her extensive knowledge of working with clay to all levels, as well as introducing Japanese tableware and the history of Japanese ceramics.

In conversation with Philip Harper, Japan’s first and only British toji (sake brew-master)

Photo by Akagi Koichi

Thursday 17 August 2017 6:30pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

The Common Room

13-14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle)

London NW1 4QP

£30 British Sake Association and Japan Society members

£35 guests and others

Please note that this event is fully booked.

Toji is usually translated as “master brewer” referring to the person responsible for the entire brewing process in a particular sake brewery. Highly skilled in the craft of sake brewing, a toji has to work over the years to gain the necessary knowledge and training about the practical business of producing sake and, as a final step, to pass an exam on topics such as fermentation and chemistry to qualify as a sake master brewer.

In collaboration with the Japan Society, the British Sake Association is pleased to invite its members to an evening with Philip Harper, Japan’s first and only British toji. This is a very special joint event: expect a discussion and tasting of aged sakes, temperature and yeasts. Sake will be kindly supplied by SamSake and Tengu Sake.

Accompanying the sake, we will serve a mixed sushi bento box with a side dish of broccoli and aubergine sesame sauce (vegetarian sushi is also available).

In an informal atmosphere, Philip will talk about his experience in the sake world and discuss the production process of a sake brewery. It will also be a chance for you to ask Philip all those questions you have wanted to ask about sake.

Philip Harper was born in Birmingham and raised in Cornwall. After graduating in English Literature at Oxford University, he went to Japan in 1988 on the Ministry of Education’s JET Programme, and worked as an English teacher in public schools in Osaka. Following this experience, he started working at Ume no Yado, a Japanese sake brewery in a rural town within Nara Prefecture. After around ten years or work and training, he qualified as a master brewer and has worked at breweries in prefectures including Ibaraki, Osaka and Kyoto. Philip is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Sake (1998) and The Book of Sake: A Connoisseurs Guide (2006), both published by Kodansha International.

In conversation with Philip Harper, Japan’s first and only English Toji (sake brew-master) – BSA and The Japan Society

Japan Society icon_smaller

Date & time: Thursday 17 August 2017 6:30 pm

Venue: Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, The Common Room, 13-14 Cornwall Terrace 4QP, Outer Cir, London NW1

Cost: £30 British Sake Association and Japan Society members

£35 guests and others

Invitation to an evening with Philip Harper, Japan’s first and only English Toji. A very special joint event with BSA and JS.

To include selection of sushi(vegetarian sushi is also available) and sake.

This will be an informal event where Philip will talk about some of his favourite topics in the sake world. Expect discussion and tasting of aged sake, temperature and yeasts.

It will also be a chance for you to ask Philip all those questions you have wanted to ask about sake!

Numbers are strictly limited so book now if you want to meet Philip on one of his rare visits to the UK!

Drink from Sam Sake

Booking is through events@britishsakeassociation.org 

EVENT REVIEW: An Introduction to Sake: How it is made and its place in traditional Japanese culture

Marinated Snow Crab with the event was a roaring success. We were treated by Shirley Booth to great sake talk to begin. We then tried a variety of Sake, all well paired with the food. Great Sake, and amazing food courtesy of Matsuri restaurant.  Thanks go to the Japan Rice Export association, Hakutsuru Sake and Matsuri Restaurant. The menu included:

Flying Fish Roe

Wagyu Tataki

Poached Tuna and Wasabi


Sea Bream Marinated in Kelp


Two kinds of “Hatta” style tempura


Japanese Wagyu (Kagoshima)

Seasonal Vegetables

Egg Fried Rice


Fireball Ice Cream

Comments from attendees:

“You did a great job, congratulations!”

I really enjoyed your seminar – you are a great teacher”

“I want to say a big ‘thank you’ for the brilliant event

” – Chiyoko-san and I really enjoyed it. “My favourite was Junmai Nigori she Sayuri”

“I never knew there was so much to Sake, you gave a fascinating talk!”

“Very many thanks for an excellent evening  at Matsuri “

” It was such a wonderful experience…the Sake was beautiful.  I feel I learned a lot more about Sake in than I knew before, the food was fantastic and I thought that the pairings worked really well.”

“Best sake talk I have ever attended! “