The last drop of sake: a book not only about sake by Etienne Barral

In his collection “La dernière goutte de saké” (The last drop of sake), Etienne Barral compiles stories or chronicles of habits and customs in Japan. A country that has always fascinated Westerners…

Although this book is not all about sake… The chosen extract immerses us in the atmosphere of a typical Japanese evening in a bar. The character discovers the ceremonial around sake, which is also enjoyed hot. When he enters this izakaya, half bar, half restaurant without pretension, the salaryman is still an employee. With a mind filled with “norma”. Norma, are sales objectives that need to be achieved to maintain the esteem of his colleagues and superiors. The sesame that opens the doors of “nomination”: a resounding “otsukare-sama deshita“! ” Tired but satisfied, we did a good job together.

Nomination is nomu (drinking) and komyunikêshon (communication), a typically Japanese neologism forged to designate this particular form of friendly relationships over a drink in the evening after the office.

The last drop of sake: a book not only about sake by Etienne Barral

The author

Graduated from INALCO in 1986, Etienne Barral worked for three years as a correspondent for the Nouvel Observateur. He then remained in Japan as a freelance journalist in 1989, working mainly for the weekly AERA. He is a specialist in new technologies. Furthermore, Barral participated in Jean-Jacques Beineix’s documentary in 1994 on the Otakus. Since April 2007, he has been writing a column in the Asahi Shimbun on Japan.



Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


Join the community on Reddit

Spirits Hunters is a community dedicated to spirits and the world of mixology. Feel free to talk about the world of mixology and bartending here!