Renowned Haiku poet, Second Generation Master Blender and Patron of the Arts, Keizo Saji not only inherited his father’s vision but grew the local Osaka Business into a successful leading company – Suntory. Keizo Saji was born in Osaka in 1919 as the second son of Shinjiro Torii. He became president of Kotobukiya in 1961, and officially renamed it to Suntory Limited in 1963, paying tribute to the success of Suntory Whisky (Kakubin).
Under Keizo’s leadership, Suntory grew to become not only one of the world’s leading spirits and beer company but a company that greatly contributed to enriching Japanese Culture and the Arts. It was in his first year of presidency (1961) that Keizo officially establishes “Giving Back to Society” as one of the leading pillars for Suntory, opening the Suntory Museum for the Arts in Marunouchi, Tokyo. In 1986, he built the Suntory Hall in Akasaka, as the first concert hall in the heart of Tokyo. Today, it remains to be the most prestigious concert hall in Japan. Keizo continued to increase Suntory’s contribution to cultural life, giving back one third of their profits to the betterment of society.
As Second Generation Master Blender, Keizo remained committed to his father’s vision of creating original whiskies blessed with the riches of Japanese nature and craftsmanship (Monozukuri), and built the Chita Grain Distillery in 1972 and the Hakushu Malt Distillery in 1973. 61 years from the construction of the Yamazaki Distillery, Keizo was able to launch the much awaited Yamazaki Single Malt in 1984. In 1989, Keizo commemorated the 90th anniversary of Suntory with the launch of Hibiki meaning “Resonance or Harmony with Nature”. In 1994, 5 years before his death, Keizo introduced Hakushu Single Malt and successfully completes the luxury portfolio of Suntory Whisky.