Rita Taketsuru should be remembered on both sides of globe – Jo

Jo has praised East Dunbartonshire’s Rita Taketsuru on the 50thanniversary of her death. Rita is credited with helping to take Scottish whisky across the globe to Japan.

Rita lived in Kirkintilloch and married a Japanese man, Masataka Taketsuru, in 1920 after he came to Scotland to study at Glasgow University and learn how to make whisky. The couple moved back to Japan in 1923, and using Rita’s contacts through her teaching job eventually founded their own distillery, which still produces the world-famous ‘Nikka’ single malts and blends today.

Far from her Kirkintilloch roots, Rita’s influence on whisky-making is still revered in Japan, and Jo Swinson MP has called for Scots to celebrate her life too.

Commenting, Jo said:

“50 years on from Rita Taketsuru’s death, Scottish whisky is still much appreciated on both sides of the globe. This Kirkintilloch lady is much-loved in Japan for her part in exporting one of Scotland’s best kept secrets to the country – what a fine malt should taste like – and for her determination in pursuing this unconventional path. It seems only fitting that we recognise her remarkable story and success here in her home nation too.”


  • The 50th anniversary of Rita Taketsuru’s death is 17th February 2011.

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