The story of Nikka whisky is the story of one man, when in 1918 Masataka Taketsuru left Japan to become the first Japanese to study whisky production at Glasgow University. Born in Takehara about 60km from Hiroshima where the family brewed Sake.
Masataka trained as a chemist, but when the opportunity arose to go to Scotland he took it. In 1920 he returned to Japan with his new bride Jessie 'Rita' Roberts and joined a new company, which later became Suntory, which had ambitions to produce whisky in Japan. By 1934 Masataka was ready to go it alone and he left to establish his own distillery in Yoichi which has a similar climate to Scotland, He established a second distillery, Miyagikyo, in 1969 and the rest is history. He died in 1979 at the age of 85.