Japan’s first kind of liquor, which is a famous product from Okinawa Island in the southern part of Japan, is distilled from Thai rice (long grain indica rice). In the 15th century, the Ryukyu islanders learned the distillation process of ‘Lao Khao’ (literally, ‘white liquor’) from the Siamese through the contact in trade with The Kingdom of Ayutthaya. The process was further refined to suit the climate that has the average temperature of 22° C throughout the year -- which is not suitable for producing sake but ideal for production of awamori all year round. Japan imported on average twenty thousand tons of Thai rice annually for production of alcoholic beverages. Interestingly, awamori uses the black koji mold in the production process that also involves aging in clay pots for decades, resulting in a much mellower flavor than, and a far cry from, the Thai ‘Lao Khao’.