Posted by: softypapa | December 24, 2007

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher – Wooden Mizusashi

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japanese Hot Water Pitcher Wooden Mizusashi Japan Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Antique Japanese wooden hot water pitcher (mizusashi).  Hot water pitchers such as this have a number of uses in Japan with perhaps the most common being as receptacles for the delivery of hot noodle broth to customers dining at Japanese soba noodle restaurants (please read below to learn more about soba).  After eating their noodles many Japanese enjoy drinking the soba soup directly from the noodle bowl.  As the soup is normally a bit strong and salty many soba restaurants will deliver hot noodle broth to the table which the customer may use to dilute the soup prior to drinking.  Mizusashi water pitchers are normally used to hold and pour the broth which is called sobayu (yu means “hot water”) and actually consists of the broth-like hot water used to boil the noodles.  Mizusashi were in the past commonly made of wood while modern versions are more often made of plastic.

About the Listed Item

The old mizusashi hot water pitcher offered here is very well made and in fair condition with no cracks though there are some small chips and scratches as evidence of past use.  The handle may have once come loose and appears to have been re-secured with glue.  This old wooden pitcher dates from the early to mid Japanese Showa (1926-1989) period.  We recommend this item as a display piece only.

Size:
Height (from base to top of lid): 5.7 inches (14.5 centimeters)
Diameter (across top of lid): 6.2 inches (16.0 centimeters)
Weight: 7.6 ounces (217 grams)

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

Long Noodles and Long Luck – Soba Noodles in Japan on New Years Eve

An interesting end-of-year tradition in Japan is the consumption of soba noodles on new years eve.  Like the midnight kiss western couples commonly exchange to ring in the new year, the Japanese enjoy their own tradition of gathering at soba noodle restaurants for the year’s final meal.  This interesting tradition has its roots in the curious equation of “long noodles” with “long luck,” and includes religious overtones as soba noodles were once the stock-in-trade of many feudal era Buddhist temples, who sold bowls of the delicious buckwheat fare to hungry pilgrims arriving at their gates.  Buddhism and noodles actually have a long association in Japan, where it is thought Buddhist priests first introduced noodles from China during the 9th century.

As for our family, we favor a small soba shop in our community which certain members of our family have patronized for over 40 years.  The restaurant is called Iwaichi and is run by three generations of the Kobayashi family.  Working from 7 AM until past midnight six days a week, the Kobayashi family make both noodles (men) and soup (tsuyu) from scratch in an establishment that seems to have its menu prices forever stuck in the decade of the 70’s.  Visitors to Iwaichi are invariably greeted upon entry by the kind-faced mother of the family (mid 60’s) while in the back the rest of her family (including a very elderly yet spry pair of grandparents) can be seen busily preparing savory bowls of soba for eager customers.  Our daughter Emily especially enjoys visiting Iwaichi which has a small bookshelf well stocked with children’s books for auntie Yoko to read to her.  Emily also enjoys the treat of fresh fruit she invariably receives after her meal, complements of the kitchen staff.

item code: R2S7-0003642
category code: (soba_mono)
ship code: G6

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Responses

  1. I’m not sure but I think this is a yuutou, not a mizusashi… or at best a mizutsugi to replenish the water to the mizusashi during tea ceremony..


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