Step under the eaves of the Yama no Mori distillery and you step into another time. The giant earthenware fermentation vats sunk into the earthen floor have not moved in a hundred years. Yama no Mori is the oldest distillery on Iki Island, and Iki is where barley shochu started in the 16th century. In feudal times the Hirado clan ruled with an iron hand and seized the island's entire rice harvest as tribute. The islanders ate barley, and mastered the technique of making shochu from this humble ingredient.