At the Olympics in Ancient Greece, victors were presented with a range of wreaths, made from olive, pine, and even celery. There were also wreaths made from laurel, considered a tree sacred to the god Apollo. The laurel wreath is known globally as a symbol of victory and glory, and many people will have seen them being awarded to champions in marathons or other sports.
In 1905, the Gekkeikan trademark was registered and started to be used as our brand name. Lieutenant General (army) Toyosaburo Ochiai gave us the name. When General Ochiai was first asked for a name, he said that he recommended Gekkeikan, or Laurel Wreath, due its symbolizing victory in battle in Ancient Greece (Ochiai Toyosaburo to Sonshi no Heiho (Military Methods of Ochiai Toyosaburo and Sun Tzu), Seidokai ed., 1995). It is not hard to see how the company was determined to become victorious over its rivals. At the time, most sake breweries used natural features or placenames for their names, so Gekkeikan attracted attention as a fancy, up-market sake brand by using a European term.
Our company, which had been running a small sake brewery selling to locals, widened its sales nationwide and expanded its business activities under the banner of the laurel wreath, the symbol of victory and glory.