1983. Yamaju Koi farm – Takezawa village.
Shigeyuki Hoshino rarely smiles and rarely speaks. He has always come over to me as a ‘loner’ in the business and just gets on with his daily duties alone and unaided.
On my first visit with Naoji Takanashi it was difficult to hold a conversation here due to the big difference in the Tokyo and Takezawa dialects.
Later Naoji gave his opinion that Shigeyuki was merely a very shy person.
He tends to specialise in only a few rarer varieties and, over the years, I have seen very few Go-Sanke for sale. He also tends to produce different varieties with each passing year.
On my first visit he produced very high quality Shusui and, if one returns the next year to find Shusui there will be not a trace of them on his farm! Instead it may be full of very high quality Ochibashigure – all in all, very confusing.
In 1990 I found and bought a truly amazing five year old Doitsu Kigoi here, but there was only one anywhere on the farm.
On this visit he was full to the brim with excellent Asagi!
One thing I have witnessed over many years is that he never breeds ‘also-rans’. Whatever he decides to produce has always been of very high quality.
My first impressions – ‘a determined person and a dark horse’.