Born into a family of sake producers in 1894, Masataka Taketsuru is considered to be the father of Japanese whisky. After training as a chemist, he began working for the Settsu Shuzo company, who sent him to Scotland in 1919 to carry out an apprenticeship. There he developed a passion for whisky and decided to dedicate his life to it. In 1934, he built Yoichi, his first distillery, on the island of Hokkaido. His growing success enabled him to open a second distillery near Sendai in 1969: Miyagikyo. The Nikka Whisky group creates its entire line of Japanese whiskies using single malts from these two distilleries.