Posted by: softypapa | December 25, 2011

Antique Japanese Girls Day Doll – Hina Matsuri Ningyo

Antique Japanese Girl’s Day doll.  This old doll is in poor to fair condition with chips, marks, cracks and scratches on the body, head and limbs and worn and faded fabric.  The doll dates from the early to mid 20th century and may be missing its original accessories.  Modern Girl’s Day dolls include bodies which are often made of plastic or other composite materials, while old dolls such as this usually have bodies made of tightly packed rice straw or solid wood with hand-painted ceramic or plaster heads displaying striking features.  The neck of these older dolls is usually made of a sharpened stick or square nail which is used to secure the head to the doll’s body.  Removing the head (pull gently) reveals the body beneath the layers of textured cloth and paper clothes and shows the head to be a unique and artistic piece of work in its own right.  In fact, particularly well made or very old Japanese doll heads are sometimes more highly sought after than the complete dolls they were originally attached to!  This doll may have originally belonged to a larger set of dolls which are given to young Japanese girls to arrange and display in the family home in the days leading up to the March 3rd celebration of Girl’s Day, which is a traditional Japanese holiday dedicated to little girls throughout the country.  Please read below to learn more about this very old and special Japanese tradition.

Size:
Height of doll: 8.3 inches (21.3 centimeters)

More about Girl’s Day

Sometime during the long Japanese Edo period (1600-1868) households with young girls began to set out attractive displays of dolls around the middle of February.  The dolls were usually kept on display until March 3rd which eventually came to be known as ‘Girls Day’ or hina matsuri as it is called in Japanese.  This special day is also sometimes referred to as momo no sekku which means ‘Festival of the Peach’ due to the fact that beautiful pink peach blossoms are often placed among the dolls on display.  Girl’s Day dolls are nearly always seen wearing the courtly robes of Heian period (794-1185) nobility.  And the dolls are frequently arranged on platforms consisting of between 5 and 7 tiers covered with red felt.  Though single-tier displays consisting of one male and one female doll are also quite common (especially in cramped modern apartments).  Young Japanese girls (such as our little Emily) often enjoy spending hours assembling and arranging their dolls and accessories according to very old rules of display (Internet websites help many modern Japanese parents learn the rules).  However, though the dolls may remain on display for many weeks leading up to March 3rd, tradition holds that the dolls must be put away promptly after this date in order to ensure a young girl’s future happiness with a home and family of her own.  A similar holiday for boys is the May 5th celebration of Boy’s Day.  In recent times, Boy’s Day has come to be known as ‘Children’s Day.’

item code: R1S2-10001
ship code: G3

Posted by: softypapa | December 25, 2011

Antique Japanese Bowl Lid – Wood Maki-e Lacquer Owan Lid

This high quality bowl is called owan (pronounced ‘oh-whan’) in Japan where it is used to serve Japanese style soup such as miso shiru.  Older Owan will normally include a lid which rests within the lip of the bowl and which helps keep the soup warm, though modern bowls may be lidless.  Modern owan are also usually made of plastic while vintage bowls were typically formed from blocks of wood shaped to produce individual bowl and lid sections.  The process of creating such a bowl from wood required the talents of one or more highly skilled artisans as well as a considerable investment in time.  Since the walls of the bowl as well as the lid are very thin it was therefore necessary to carefully dry the wood after each significant cut was made in order to prevent cracking.  The rough cut blocks would typically need to dry for an entire year before being shaped, and when the bowl’s final form was achieved another year of drying may be needed before the lacquer finish could be applied.  The lacquer work would then require time to complete as multiple coats may be applied and each coat must dry completely before proceeding.  Still more time was required if the bowl was to be decorated by a maki-e lacquer artist who would painstakingly paint detailed scenes of beauty upon the bowl, often including auspicious symbols such as pine boughs, the images of luck gods or perhaps the profile of Mt. Fuji rising above swirling clouds.  With some workshops as many as five years would be needed to complete the entire process.  The bowls were often produced as a set and may have included a custom wooden storage box.  Such boxes may include Japanese writing on the outside indicating the name of the owner and possibly the date of manufacture.

About the Listed Item

Wood and lacquer antique Japanese owan bowl.  The bowl and lid are finished with lacquer and decorated with gold maki-e art.  The bowl is in good condition with no cracks though the lacquer is a bit worn in places along the lip and there are some small marks and scratches from handling as well as a slightly darkened patina of age.

Size:
Height (including grasp): 0.9 inches (2.3 centimeters)
Diameter at lip of bowl: 4.9 inches (12.6 centimeters)

item code: R1S2-10000
category codes: mukashiteberumono
ship code: G3

Posted by: softypapa | September 8, 2008

Ceramic Roof Tile – Nokimarugawara Style Japan Kawara

Description

Antique Japanese ceramic roof tile decorated with swirling comma pattern.  Roof tiles are called Kawara in Japan where they are used not only to protect a home from the elements but also as important architectural ornaments.  Roof eves are sometimes decorated with special pendant tiles called nokimarugawara which feature a circular disk attached to a half-round tile.  The disk (gatou) will often feature an image such as a household seal (kamon) or an image though to act as a protective charm.  Decorated roof tiles often feature images associated with water, as such images were once thought to provide protection against the dangers of fire.  An especially important water symbol was the swirling tomoe pattern.  The basic tomoe design originated in China and has been used in Japan since at least the Yayoi period (300 B.C.-300 A.D.).  The pattern always includes one or more comma-shaped swirls oriented in a right or left facing pattern.  This image is thought to symbolize water as the Chinese character used to write this name translates as either “whirlpool” or “eddy”.  The tomoe design has spiritual connotations as well and is frequently seen on religious implements and used with temple and shrine architecture.

About the Listed Item

The tomoe design on this particular nokimarugawara-style gatou is a three comma, right-facing pattern called migifutatsudomoe in Japanese.  The tile is poor to fair condition with chips, marks and scratches as well as evidence of outdoor exposure and weathering. The tile dates from the mid Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) or earlier and was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Size (approximate):

Diameter: 4.5 inches (11.5 centimeters)
Depth: 1.6 inches (4.0 centimeters)
Weight: 20.1 ounces (599 grams)

Click here to see additional items from Japan

More about Japanese roof tiles

Tiled roofs (hongawarabuki) are a distinguishing feature of most Japanese homes, as well as Buddhist temples, Shinto (native religion of Japan) shrines and many other types of old buildings. Kawara is the word the Japanese use to describe roof tiles in general, though there are in fact many styles and types of tiles with regional variations, and a large and specialized vocabulary is used to describe these.  Japanese roof tiles are typically very well made and often outlive their intended function protecting structures from the elements.  As a result, old roof tiles can sometimes be spotted in Japan being reused for unique and interesting purposes.  Old roof tiles are sometimes used to reinforce earthen retaining walls, or stacked one next to another to make garden borders.  Roof tiles are also buried vertically along dirt walkways with just the tips exposed a fraction of an inch above the surface to create artistic patterns and to act as paving surfaces.  Decorative end caps called onigawara (ogre tiles) look especially nice as accent pieces within the home or on patios and especially when positioned amidst garden foliage.

item code: R1S5-0005770
ship code: G3

Posted by: softypapa | September 7, 2008

Shinto Coin Box – Kamidana Altar Shrine Wood Saisenbako

Description

Vintage small size wooden religious collection box or saisenbako as they are called in Japanese.  Boxes such as these are found at the entrance of nearly every Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine in Japan.  Worshipers commonly approach the altar and throw a few coins into the saisenbako before offering a prayer.  The same type of box is used in Japan for both temples and shrines, though worshipers at a shrine may ring a bell before depositing their coins and praying.  One of the images included below shows a very large and old saisenbako found at a shrine near our home here in Japan.  The rope hanging before the box is used to ring (rattle really) the bell which is suspended from the rafters (If you look closely you may be able to make out the Shrine’s altar within the gloomy interior).

About the Listed Item

This small saisenbako would be perfect for use with a small religious altar or perhaps as a very unique piggy bank or change tray. The offering box is in fair to good condition with no serious damage though it does have marks and scratches from handling and a darkened patina of age. Please read below to learn more about Japan’s native religion Shinto, and how this ancient faith and Buddhism have come to coexist together in modern Japan.

Size of collection box:

Height: 3.7 inches (9.5 centimeters)
Width (across bottom): 7.0 inches (18.0 centimeters)
Depth (across bottom): 4.5 inches (11.5 centimeters)
Weight: 13.3 ounces (381 grams)

Click here to see additional items from Japan

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside (please see the photo below showing our daughter at a very small local shrine near our home in Japan).

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii (red gates in the shrine photos below), cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent  prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S4-0005769
ship code: G3

Posted by: softypapa | September 7, 2008

Vintage Japan Go Wooden Bowls – Slate & Seashell Stones

Vintage Japan Go Wooden Bowls - Slate & Seashell Stones

Description

Pair of vintage Japanese bowls and game pieces used in playing the game of Go. The set is less than 40 years old and includes two wooden bowls as well as black and white stones. We have not counted the stones and are unsure if the numbers are complete. The black stones are made of slate while the white stones are seashell. Many of the stones are worn and chipped with evidence of past use. The bowls are in good condition though one bowl has some repaired damage at the underside and both bowls have marks and scratches from handling and past use. This set of Japanese Go bowls and stones is ready to once more facilitate pleasant hours of intellectual challenge between worthy Go players. This set does not include a game board which must be purchased separately.

Size of each bowl

Height: 3.5 inches (9.0 centimeters)
Diameter: 4.9 inches (12.5 centimeters)
Weight of both bowls including stones: 48.2 ounces (1376 grams)

Click here to see additional items from Japan

More about the game of Go

When I was about ten years old my father came home one day with a new board game which he intended to teach my brother and I to play.  The game board was made of wood with equally spaced lines running across the surface in a pattern which created dozens of small squares.  The game was played with pieces that resembled small black and white stones, which were separated by color and stored in two small wooden bowls.  The rules of the game were simple, and within an hour after supper that evening my father and I were engaged in our first game of Go together.  Years later, during my first visit to Japan I was delighted to spot groups of old men playing Go out in the open in public parks.  After moving to Japan I began to notice Go halls here and there in my community, where fans of the game would gather to compete on an amateur level.  I spotted Go columns in the newspaper and even saw professional games aired on television!  Truly this game, which had been a novel and exotic pastime in my youth, was a serious affair in Japan and, as I would later learn, most of China and Korea as well as with ardent fans the world over!

The game of Go has its roots in China where it was developed roughly 4,000 years ago.  The game spread to Korea and eventually to Japan when Buddhist priests brought the game with them from the continent in the 5th century.  Largely unchanged since ancient times, the rules are simplicity themselves and can be learned in less than an hour, while the strategy and tactics needed to master the game can take a lifetime to master.  The object is simply to lay claim to as much board space as possible before the match is declared over by mutual consent of both players.  Territory is marked out by placing one’s stones upon the board at points where the lines intersect such that a boundary of stones is created around the area one wishes to claim.  But beware, for your opponent may try to block your progress or even muscle in on your space through strategic placement of their own stones or by deliberate offensive moves meant to capture yours!  The decisions, maneuvers and sacrifices of the game in many ways create a black and white map of wits upon the board which has earned the game the nickname “hand conversation”.  Top Go players often begin their careers at a young age and even today in Japan it is not uncommon for budding champions to take up residence in the home of their master as they prepare for their debut upon the professional Go circuit.

item code: R1S4-0005766
ship code: G3

 

Posted by: softypapa | September 4, 2008

Japanese Buddhist Mizuko Jizo – Water Child Bodhisattva

Description

This authentic small (please see size information below) Japanese Buddhist Mizuko Jizo figure is made of stone and depicts the bodhisattva in a standing position holding a religious object and wearing an expression of benevolent calm.  The statue is less than 40 years old and is in good condition with no cracks though there are marks and scratches from handling.

Size:
Height: 2.4 inches (6.2 centimeters)
Weight: 2.2 ounces (62 grams)

Click here to see additional items from Japan

item code: R1S3-0005743
category code: mizukojizosama
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | September 4, 2008

Japanese Porcelain Sake Cup – Blue and White Guinomi

Description

Japanese ceramic sake cup (guinomi in Japanese).  This sake cup was made during the mid to late Showa period (1926-1989) and is in good condition with no chips or cracks though it does have some marks and scratches from handling.  The cup was acquired in the beautiful and historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Click here to see more sake cups!

Size:
Height: 1.0 inches (2.6 centimeters)
Diameter: 2.3 inches (5.8 centimeters)
Weight: 1.1 ounces (31 grams)

Click here to see additional items from Japan

More about Japanese sake and sake utensils

Sake has long been an important part of Japanese culture.  In the past, sake was considered a very special item, reserved for only the most important occasions, such as weddings, birth celebrations and other auspicious events.  Sake was considered a sacred drink, and accordingly the first glass poured was always offered to the gods before the remainder could be shared among the celebrants.  Sake can be served either warm or cold and special sake flasks are used to both prepare and dispense this unique Japanese drink.  Sake is warmed either by immersing the flask (already filled with sake of course) into warm water until the desired temperature is reached or through the use of a special sake kettle called a choshi.  The latter method however, though common in old Japan, is today usually reserved for ceremonial events only.  Over time, sake utensils, such as cups have developed their own ritual significance which is still evident in modern Japan.  For example, it is today common at Japanese engagement parties for the man and woman to exchange sake cups as a sign of their mutual intent to marry.  Very beautiful sake cups are also given away to celebrate the birth of a child, as these cherished items are considered symbolic of the significance of the new parent-child relationship.  Though normally small in size, sake cups and flasks have long been used in Japan as a medium for the expression of art and calligraphy.  Hand-painted cups and flasks are highly collectable both within and outside Japan and are eagerly sought after by collectors who value their utilitarian nature and artistic splendor.

item code: R3S6B1R6-0005735
category code: SAKECUP
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 27, 2008

Small Antique Japan Porcelain Vase – Hand-painted Kabin

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Vase Kabin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Splendid Japanese porcelain flower vase (kabin) with highly detailed hand-painted finish.  This vase is less than 40 years old and is in good condition with no chips or visible cracks and only small marks and scratches from handling.

Size:
Height: 3.7 inches (9.5 centimeters)
Weight: 2.9 ounces (83 grams)

Click here to see more fine-quality Japanese ceramics!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

item code: R1S4-0004619
ship code: L1650

Posted by: softypapa | March 27, 2008

Old Japan Daikoku Statue Shichifukujin Luck God Okimono

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Antique brass image of Daikoku, Japan’s god of wealth and good fortune.  Daikoku is one of the most famous and celebrated gods within the Japanese Shinto (native religion of Japan) pantheon (please read below to learn more about Shinto).  Daikoku is one of seven popular luck gods collectively known as Shichifukujin.  These famous gods (six male and one female) are frequently seen together in Japanese art, often on a boat sailing the seas of fortune.  Daikoku is usually depicted holding his wonderful luck hammer which he waves to dispense good fortune upon worthy humans.  The god is also frequently shown standing upon two large bales of rice, an auspicious symbol of prosperity.  The happy luck god wears one of the most captivating smiles in all Asian art and is nearly always depicted in the act of joyfully visiting wealth and happiness upon the earth (note the bag of goodies carried over his left shoulder).

About the Listed Item

The large, old brass Daikoku display statue (okimono) offered here is in poor to fair condition with marks and scratches from handling.  This wonderful old statue dates from the early to mid 20th century and wears a darkened patina of age which we believe enhances the figure’s character and appeal.  The Daikoku figure and treasure sack are made of brass while the small child and Daikoku’s hammer are made of a silver-colored metal which we cannot identify.

Size:
Height (from base to top of Daikoku’s hammer): 9.0 inches (23.0 centimeters)
Width (across base): 9.0 inches (23.0 centimeters)
Depth (across base): 5.9 inches (15.0 centimeters)
Weight: 7.0 pounds (3.18 kilograms)

Important Note:
Please be sure to note the shipping cost for this sake large and heavy brass statue.  Shipment is via international Express Mail Service (EMS) which included a tracking number and insurance.

Click here to see other Daikoku items!
Click
here to see more Shinto items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines (jinja) throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside.

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii, cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S6-0004618
ship code: B or appropriate

Posted by: softypapa | March 27, 2008

Antique Japanese Sake Keg – Wooden Masame Suginoki Taru

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Flask Tokkuri Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Antique wooden Japanese sake keg (taru).  Old kegs such as this were once used in Japan to store fluids such as soy sauce and sake.  The kegs commonly include a handle and spout and were typically made of wood from the Japanese suginoki tree which is known as Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria) in the west.  Suginoki is native only to Japan and has long been a favored wood for the making of high-quality cabinetry and woodcraft.  Taru flasks were assembled without the use of adhesive and were made watertight through tight-fitting joints bound with copper bands or interwoven strips of bamboo.  The wooden slats which form the body of the keg may display longitudinal or cross-cut grain patterns (called masame and itame respectively) though the itame style is most common.  Taru are typically finished with a light layer of wax or persimmon juice.

About the Listed Item

The old taru sake keg offered here, though of fine quality, has nevertheless seen its share of use and today is in poor condition and suitable only as a display piece.  The keg is made of Japanese cedar cut in the less commonly seen (in sake kegs at least) masame style, which shows off the wood’s tight, straight grain pattern.  The keg is held together with woven strips of dried bamboo which are a bit loose and can come loose so careful handling is necessary.  Japanese writing is carved into the side and bottom of the keg.  This item dates from the late 19th or early 20th century and was acquired in this historic city of Shizuoka, Japan very near the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Size:
Height (from base to top of handle): 12.1 inches (31.0 centimeters)
Diameter (across top of keg): 6.0 inches (15.5 centimeters)
Weight: 11.0 ounces (313 grams)

Important Note:
Please be sure to note the shipping cost for this sake large wooden flask.  Shipment is via international Express Mail Service (EMS) which included a tracking number and insurance.

Click here to see additional sake items!
Click
here to see more treasures from Japan!

More about Japanese sake and sake utensils

Sake has long been an important part of Japanese culture.  In the past, sake was considered a very special item, reserved for only the most important occasions, such as weddings, birth celebrations and other auspicious events.  Sake was considered a sacred drink, and accordingly the first glass poured was always offered to the gods before the remainder could be shared among the celebrants.  Sake can be served either warm or cold and special sake flasks are used to both prepare and dispense this unique Japanese drink.  Sake is warmed either by immersing the flask (already filled with sake of course) into warm water until the desired temperature is reached or through the use of a special sake kettle called a choshi.  The latter method however, though common in old Japan, is today usually reserved for ceremonial events only.  Over time, sake utensils, such as cups have developed their own ritual significance which is still evident in modern Japan.  For example, it is today common at Japanese engagement parties for the man and woman to exchange sake cups as a sign of their mutual intent to marry.  Very beautiful sake cups are also given away to celebrate the birth of a child, as these cherished items are considered symbolic of the significance of the new parent-child relationship.  Though normally small in size, sake cups and flasks have long been used in Japan as a medium for the expression of art and calligraphy.  Hand-painted cups and flasks are highly collectable both within and outside Japan and are eagerly sought after by collectors who value their utilitarian nature and artistic splendor.

item code: R2S7-0004617
ship code: B or appropriate

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