Many countries have their own culture of alcohol. Japan has long produced its own distinct alcoholic beverages, among them sake and shochu (pot distilled spirits). They both have intimate link with regional climates and culture.
One of the key points is that they use koji for the brewing process. Koji is made by cultivating koji fungi on steamed rice or other grains. The main role of koji is the source of enzymes which convert starch to sugar and break down protein into amino acids. Umami in Japanese food and beverages is from amino acids related to Koji.
In this seminar, you can learn how the characteristics which koji produces contribute to matching sake with food.
For all information: https://www.masumi.co.jp/english/spirit/process4/