Katsuyama was a wealthy castle town under the feudal Tokugawa regime. The Tsuij family is one of seven families which descend from the Sugawara Michizane; a ‘courtier-scholar’ around 900 A.D. The family settled in Katsuyama at the start/middle of the 18th century, after moving from the neighbouring town of Ochiai. The family settled as traders in 1785 under the name Mashimaya. However, it was Yaheh, one of the two sons of the family of ten, who started out for himself and set up a brewery in 1804.
The current brand name Gozenshu comes from the sake which was brewed during those times. Gozenshu literally means ‘sake for a gentleman’ and was produced for the Miuras, the local gentlemen which governed Katsuyama.
When the imperial authority was restored under Emperor Meiji in 1868, the old traditions of the Tokugawa period were replaced by the reorganisation of the Meiji government. Once the gentlemen of the feudal system were replaced, Tsuji Honten decided to restore the ‘Gozenshu’ name, with the aim of selling the best sake to the public.