Eighth-century Japanese texts first speak of fermenting rice wine. Since then, the making, controlling, and drinking of Sake, like many seemingly ordinary acts of life in this most ritualizing of all world cultures, has variously delineated status, manners, and economic opportunity through different historical eras. The specific grade of Sake, the daily and ceremonial occasions for which it is appropriate and the kind of vessels in which it is served are instinct with meaning. Our set of three saucer-shaped, footed lacquer cups, are a specific kind called sakazuki. They are the oldest form of sake cups and are usually reserved for special occasions and formal presentations. Our commissioned cups carry the gold lacquer medallion insignia of the Japanese Army and Navy in each bowl and are beautifully hand-inscribed with gold ink on each underside:
“Secretarial Department, Japan Patriotic Women’s Association, Tokyo Branch
Koybashi Ward “
These sakazuki can be dated to 1942, or just before, and are associated with a women’s organization active in the war effort. They are, therefore, rare, and historically significant. The recipient of the gift is not named. Condition: Excellent. Dimensions: 4.25 diam x 1.5", 3.75" diam. x 1.25", 3" diam.x 1".