Wakaebis was first brewed in 1853, the year that saw the arrival of Commodore Perry's famous Black Ships. The tumult of that event, which would cultivate 15 years later in the Meiji Restoration, was still worlds away from the tranquil high lands of Iga（Modern Mie Prefecture), where Wakaebisu 'sake' came into begin. Here in the sleepy town of Aoyama-cho, a 31-year- old innkeeper named Gizaemon Shigefuji had just sold his family's age-old 'ryokan(hotel)' business to get into sake. Everything required, he'd assured the family, was readily at hand-fresh water from deep in mountains, the regio's high-quality rice, extremely cold winters, and even local 'toji '(master brewers). Shugefuji launched his new brewery not far from the town of Iga, known for its many 'ninja' and as the birthplace of 17th-century haiku poets Basho.