It’s Time to Snake, Rattle and Roll


Sake San Jose 2013 is just days away and tickets are still eligible with Early Bird pricing, which is available until May 19th. In this 2013 Year of the Snake, come join us as we meander through Japantown as the sake pours like water. This year features 26 pouring stations and 34 sakes for participants to sample, including  old favorites and new ones to crave. New to sake or ready to turn your taste for sake into a passion? This year, the event also features 10-15 minute Sake 101 classes from Jesse Pugach, a sake specialist from Southern Wine and Spirits, so you can shed your sake-novice skin. These sessions have limited seating, but are open to all participants on a first-come seating basis.

Opening ceremonies will officially kick-off the event featuring a traditional cask breaking ceremony.  Kagamiwari (cask breaking ceremony) is a Japanese tradition in which the circular lid of a sake cask is broken with a wooden mallet to celebrate an important event. San Jose Taiko will be providing a special performance at the opening ceremonies, and there will be some special pourers at this event, including television personalities Rick Quan and Robert Handa.

Once again, State of Grace’s renowned tattoo artist, Horitaka has graciously contributed his talents for the event’s logo design.  This unique design can be found on 2013 Sake San Jose merchandise which will be available for purchase online and on the day of the event.

The Event with the Dragon Tattoo

Rabbits, and Tigers, now Dragons, oh my. Horitaka’s design for this year’s 7th Annual Sake San Jose event is subtly vibrant, with an extended claw reminiscent of hands reaching for the sake from regions all over Japan. The Year of the Dragon hints at progression, perseverance, and good fortune. Its strongest element is Water, an apt image for sake flowing to promote Yu-Ai Kai Senior Service and San Jose’s Japantown. T-shirts with the dragon design will be available for purchase, or you can order a VIP ticket now, which includes admission, express check-in, and a Year of the Dragon tee. Time to get fired up for sake!

Put on Some Hip Hop: Presenting Horitaka’s SSJ Year of the Rabbit Shirt

Internationally recognized and sought-after tattoo artist, Horitaka, has once again donated his time and artistry to Yu-Ai Kai’s Sake San Jose.  For 2011, Horitaka, of Japantown’s State of Grace tattoo studio, has created a clever design in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit.  Do you know someone who was born in the Year of the Rabbit?  Are you looking for a unique birthday gift for a friend or colleague?  Treat yourself and don this year’s shirt at Yu-Ai Kai’s most anticipated fundraiser of the year on Thursday, May 26!

Pre-sale orders for this exclusive Sake San Jose 2011 tshirt are now being accepted.  Please visit to order yours today!

Follow the White Rabbit

Since relocating to Japantown San Jose in 2009, the State of Grace tattoo studio and its internationally renowned artists have quickly become an integral part of our tight-knit community.

Last year, State of Grace founder, Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura, graciously accepted a request to help create an exclusive design for our Sake San Jose tshirts.This year, in keeping with the zodiac theme that he introduced in 2010, Horitaka has created an eye-catching, spunky design for the Year of the Rabbit. We are very excited to promote this design on our 2011 tshirt, which will be available to purchase soon.

Also for this year’s event, Horitaka has enlisted one of his artists, Kenji “Horiken” Hori, to contribute an original watercolor painting to Sake San Jose. Horiken is an artist skilled in hand tattooing with over 15 years experience, who immigrated to the United States to practice traditional hand tattooing here. A stunning watercolor painting was hand-delivered to Yu-Ai Kai and will be featured in this year’s event poster.

State of Grace was founded in 2002 by Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura as a shop specializing in traditional Japanese tattooing in the United States. In an effort to further share tattoo culture, State of Grace is involved in book publishing, as well as lecture presentations.

State of Grace │ 221 Jackson Street, SJ 95112 │ 408.441.0770

Limited Edition Horitaka T-Shirts Available Now!

By Kelli Martines

Our limited edition Horitaka-designed t-shirts have arrived and are now available for pre-sale! World-renowned tattoo artist, Horitaka, generously created a design exclusively for Sake San Jose 2010. What an opportunity to own a piece of art and get a new shirt, all while supporting Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services!

In celebration of the Year of the Tiger, Horitaka’s powerful yet gracious representations are set in brushed gold on solid black. Shirts are available in modern cuts for men and women, as well as the classic Beefy T. Whether a unique gift for someone special or a treat for you, these limited-editions design are bold and fun.

Toradoshi Shirts for Sake San Jose 2010

Designed by Horitaka

Bookmark and Share

Famed Tattoo Artist Horitaka Shares His Talents with Sake San Jose

By Linda Ueda

Takahiro Kitamura, whose professional name is Horitaka, is recognized as one of the most prestigious and credentialed among the most elite circles of tattoo artists.  Published and publicized, his talent for the ancient Japanese-style art of tattoo is known throughout the world.  In October of 2008, he was the “man of the hour,” lecturing and demonstrating this talent at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum as part of their MATCHA series.

For Sake For Sake San Jose 2010, Horitaka has generously contributed a signed original piece of art for a limited edition t-shirt, with proceeds going to Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services.

Horitaka’s t-shirts will be available for sale beginning May 1st via

His shop, State of Grace Tattoo Shop, is now located on Jackson Street, in Japantown San Jose. Visit to learn more about this world-famous artist.

Bookmark and Share

For Sake San Jose 2010, Horitaka has generously contributed a signed original piece of art for a limited edition t-shirt, with proceeds going to Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services, Sake San Jose 2010.