Iwai mai is one of two types of rice grown in Kyoto that is suitable for sake making. Despite Iwai’s high suitability for sake production, it has faced several twists and turns in terms of being listed as “recommended variety”. The production area had increased to 646 hectares by 1936 but the World War II food shortages meant a reprioritisation of eating rice and the crop acreage dropped dramatically. In 1946, Iwai was dropped from the recommended variety list and Kyoto prefecture lost any obligation to supply Iwai seed to farmers. Delisting didn’t completely eradicate the crop, but it was apparent that the variety deteriorated. Fast forward till today, Iwai mai is back and the best of Kyoto sakes use this premium rice to make sake.