Cate Blanchett Joins Toku Saké as Creative Director

Cate Blanchett Toku Saké

Cate Blanchett has become the new Creative Director for Hokkaido-based sake brand Toku.

Academy Award-winning actor and producer Cate Blanchett has joined Toku Saké as Creative Director. Blanchett will oversee creative strategy and direction for the Japanese brand, including new product development and innovation.

“The thoughtful, reflective craftsmanship that is part and parcel of everyday life in Japan has long been a touchstone for me,” commented Blanchett. “Saké reflects these traditional values with its intense focus on method, purity and authenticity. Sitting around a table with friends and family, celebrating and breaking bread together is one of life’s great pleasures, and over the years I have had countless, joy-filled nights sharing saké in this way. I’m excited to help bring the exquisite liquid which is Toku Saké into the world market.”

Announcing Blanchett’s appointment, Toku Saké co-founders, Anthony Newman and Peter Hudson noted: “We are honoured to welcome Cate to the team. Her critically acclaimed background as an artist and producer, along with her passion for Japanese culture and highly selective involvement in global projects, will open new doors for our brand. We’re excited to see what the new chapter holds for Toku Saké. We are looking forward to seeing the Toku Saké vision shared and realised with the rest of the world, as saké grows in popularity in western markets.”

The announcement comes at a time when saké is gaining increased popularity across the globe. According to recent data by the Japan Saké and Shochu Makers Association, Japanese saké exports reached a record high of 47.5 billion Japanese yen (US$361m) in 2022, up 18% from 2021, and a 431% increase from 2012.

Brewed in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan’s coldest city, Toku Saké uses time-honored techniques developed over 120 years by one of the region’s oldest breweries. Made with highly polished Yamada Nishiki rice and fermented in the region’s freezing conditions, Toku boasts impressive flavors and aromas.

Hokkaido only has 16 saké breweries compared to approximately 1,200 across the rest of Japan. The region’s cold climate results in distinctly delicate, aromatic notes and an exceptionally long, rich finish.

To mark the launch of this partnership and to show their continued commitment to the environment, Toku works with Treeapp to plant one mangrove for every bottle sold, sequestering far more carbon than the business produces in operations.

As the brand continues its plans to expand, Blanchett joins the business to drive the creative vision whilst underpinning its modern approach, with tradition at its heart. For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.