Posted by: softypapa | October 20, 2007

Japanese Kutani Porcelain Sake Cup – Decorated Guinomi


Beautiful Kutani Japanese sake cup (guinomi in Japanese).  Kutani-ware has been produced in Japan for over 300 years within remote villages of the ‘nine valleys’ (Kutani means nine valleys) region of Kaga province in Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture (please see map below).  Noted for it’s fine brush work and ivory-colored porcelain, Kutani kilns have produced some of Japan’s finest ceramic art through generations of refined production.  Though the actual origins of Kutani-ware are uncertain, we know that the kilns of the nine valleys were long supported through the patronage of the powerful Maeda clan who were the hereditary rulers of the region.

About the Listed Item

This splendid Kutani porcelain sake cup features the hand-painted image of golden leaves centered in a red and white background.  The Kutani mark can be seen on the underside of the cup.  This sake cup was made during the mid to late Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) and is in good condition with no cracks though it does have some small chips and scratches from handling and age.  The cup was acquired in the beautiful and historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Click here to see additional high-quality Kutani ceramic items available for purchase from our eBay store The Old Tokaido or click here to see more sake cups!

Height: 1.1 inches (2.8 centimeters)
Diameter: 2.0 inches (5.2 centimeters)
Weight: 1.3 ounces (36 grams)

Click here to see additional sake items!
here to see other fine-quality Japanese ceramics!
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: R3S6B1R4-0003182
category code: SAKECUP
ship code: L2160


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