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by Miku Kaneda January 08, 2020 2 min read

Alcoholic beverages are fun of adults. ― bourbon whiskey, wine and sake.

In Japan, we traditionally use a small cup called "Ochoko" for sake. Its materials vary from ceramics to glasses, and there is a strong relation between Ochoko and Japanese traditional crafts.

We would like to show you a traditional luxury sake cup which is made with a totally new concept combining polishing high technology in Japan and traditional craft called "Makie" in Ishikawa Prefecture.

What is distinctive in Urushi?

Add a Japanese Spirit to Your Gift

Urushi is a natural resin lacquer which is made of sap from lacquer trees and others. It has a long history since the Jomon Period (B.C. 14000 to around B.C.900), when it was used for painting earthenware. Today, it is used for painting and adding glaze to combs, dishes, sake cups etc.

However, raw unprocessed Urushi may be an allergen for some people, and you should be careful when dealing with it. Professionals not only have elaborate painting technique but also have skills for handling Urushi.

There is a reason why Urushi have been loved for such a long period. That is its unique and beautiful glaze which is even distinctive from gold or platinum.

Urushi has dual features ― glossy but matt, and also gives a strong impression with its vivid colors. So it looks fancy but elegant, and this contradiction makes us find it mysterious.

What is a Concept behind Design?

Add a Japanese Spirit to Your Gift

Above are Japanese representative designs with “Aka Fuji” (red Mt. Fuji) with cranes and “Setsugetsuka” (the moon, snow, and sakura). These motifs are considered to be lucky charms, which have been used in Japanese traditional art such as Ukiyo-e Paintings and hanging scrolls.

Aka Fuji describes a Japan’s symbol, Mt. Fuji when it’s covered with sunrise beams and looks red especially from late summer to early autumn. This beautiful scene has been valued as it is rare and described in Japanese art since 1700s.

Crane is also an important motif in Japanese art history. It is a symbol of longevity and adored as a sacred creature which bridges heaven and earth. It is also a symbol of happy marriage as it stays with only one partner in whole life. For these reasons, cranes have been described in tableware, pictures and even kimono with Mt.Fuji or turtles, which is another symbol of longevity in Japan.

Setsugetsuka has been described in Japanese art history, literature (Manyoshu etc.) and Imperial court culture. The combination of the moon, snow, and sakura symbolizes the beauty, history and tradition of Japan.

Not only its unique design, Urushi sake cups but also have history, tradition, Japanese spirit and lucky charms. Nothing is better than it for a gift to your beloved ones! ― especially who are interested in Japanese tradition and culture or who have sophisticated sense of beauty.

Miku Kaneda
Miku Kaneda



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