Have you ever heard a glass of red wine a day is good for you? In Okinawa, they say Habu Sake is full of medicinal herbs as well as natural benefits from the Habu venom itself. There are a lot of legends regarding the Habu. It is believed that they can go without eating for over a year, due to the amino acids and nutrients they are able to store in their body.
Habu venom has been added to Awamori or rice liquor for over 500 years to create, as it is commonly referred to, Habu Sake. The Chinese have used snakes for medicinal remedies for much longer than that even. And, much like the Japanese adopted the Chinese language, with their own adaptations, they adopted the process of using snakes and their venom for medicinal purposes.
The Habu snakes are also used to make Sanshin a three stringed instrument. It is key to use the Habu skin or the instrument supposedly doesn’t sound right. The Sanshin is a 3 stringed instrument played similar to a banjo.
Habu are also fermented and placed at the bottom of Habu Sake bottles. As I was taking these pictures, Mac thought it a good idea to grab me and shout, “Raaar!” I screamed and jumped in fright. As I turned to scold Mac, I noticed the Japanese man stocking shelves down the isle, was laughing to himself. Mac turned and spotted him also and then all 3 of us were laughing. Scaring your girlfriend or wife must be popular in many cultures.