2. How shochu came to Japan
How was shochu introduced into Japan?
One of the dominant theories is that a type of distilled spirit known as 'lao rong' produced in Thailand in the 15th century was brought into Japan via the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa) which used to have active contact with Thailand.
There are also theories that 'shochu' came from the Chinese 'baijiu', or that it came from the Himalayas via the Silk Road as there is a region in the Himalayas where alcohol is known as 'awamuri'.
It is also theorized that shochu has its roots in the Middle Eastern alcohol 'arak'.