Cannabis Time Capsule, 1907: High Off Sake and Hash

Unfiltered nigori sake.
Unfiltered nigori sake.
Marshall Astor/Wikipedia Commons.

I didn’t know that I was obsessed with sushi until six or seven years ago, when my wife took me to Sushi Den for the first time. I felt like a blind man who had learned to see, or a stoner after rolling his first joint:. The world was my oyster, and my stoned ass was going to eat it raw.

Cannabis Time Capsule, 1907: High Off Sake and Hash

Stoners love sushi. Go to any sushi restaurant on a Friday in Denver and you’ll inevitably catch a whiff of some skunky goodness from at least one of the diners.

Lafcadio Hearn, also known as Koizumi Yakumo.
Lafcadio Hearn, also known as Koizumi Yakumo.

Along with sushi, I developed an appreciation for Japanese rice wine, or sake. A large reason for that is because I’ve always felt that a slight sake buzz is very similar to smoking herb. Both leave you feeling buzzy, high and happy. Drink too much and you’ll feel like shit, but for the most part, three or four glasses of sake puts me in a similar headspace as a dab of some Bubba Kush shatter.

Now I know I’m not alone in that sentiment:

Cannabis Time Capsule, 1907: High Off Sake and Hash

This 1907 article from the February 8, 1907 Littleton Independent takes the same position as me about the combination of cannabis and sake 100 years before I had my first sip of the stuff. It was written by Lafcadio Hearn, aka Koizumi Yakumo, one of the earliest Western scholars of Japanese culture. We’re not sure about  his experience with hash, but apparently he wasn’t too much of a stranger to it.

Cannabis Time Capsule, 1907: High Off Sake and Hash

The article goes on to talk about how getting drunk off sake is poor form. The goal, it says, is getting buzzed and happy without becoming a sot. The same could be said for cannabis, though technically getting really, really stoned still means you’re able to function — unlike being really, really drunk. That said, substitute “drinking” with “smoking” in the rest of the story, and the piece offers good advice for your next pot party.

Cannabis Time Capsule, 1907: High Off Sake and Hash

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