Nikka's Yoichi distillery on Hokkaido was founded by Masataka Takesuru in 1934, born into a Sake-brewing family he left Japan for Scotland in 1918 to study chemistry and whisky making at Glasgow university.
He returned in 1923 with a Scotish wife and a deep desire to create Japanese whisky on the island of Hokkaido. His employer Kotobukiya, his employer insisted that the best location for the distillery would be close to the major urban areas on Honshu so Yamazaki (Suntory) was established with Takesure in charge.
His Vision of a northern distillery on Hokkaido never left him. There was peat, oak and the island climate was similar to Scotland. In 1934 he left Yamazaki to set up his own distillery six years later the first whiskies arrived from the Yoichi distillery