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Satsuma Sake Cups And Pots

Sake is an alcoholic drink made from fermented rice and has been created and drunk in Japan since the Nara period (around 710 to 794 AD). Sake is most usually drunk using quite small cups with no handles call Choko and poured from a ceramic pot or flask called a Tokkuri. There are also other flatter saucer style cups called Sakazuki, but these are usually just used at weddings and on more important occasions.

The Satsuma pottery makers would have drunk Sake and therefore, made Sake cups and pots that were used either for special occasions or as everyday items. Each of the Sake Choko cups would have been adorned with the same hand painted designs that you see on a Satsuma Vase, making them very beautiful pieces. Each cup, pot to bottle would have also been signed with the makers name or mark, the same as all other pieces - so you can check for these when making an identification of the items before buying.

Vintage Japanese Asahi Satsuma porcelain Saki Tea Cup Orange Gold Pink Floral
Vintage Japanese Asahi Satsuma porcelain Saki Tea Cup Orange Gold Pink Floral
$9.99
Japan Japanese Satsuma Oriental Rattan Quail Gold Teapot  Saki Tea Cups Set
Japan Japanese Satsuma Oriental Rattan Quail Gold Teapot Saki Tea Cups Set
$19.99
Japanese Old Pottery Sake Cup Ochoko Guinomi Satsuma yaki signed Tozan Satsu
Japanese Old Pottery Sake Cup Ochoko Guinomi Satsuma yaki signed Tozan Satsu
$13.49
Vintage Japanese Satsuma Moriage Sake Barrel Keg Tea Japan 6 W X 85 H
Vintage Japanese Satsuma Moriage Sake Barrel Keg Tea Japan 6 W X 85 H
$29.99
Set Lot 5 Vintage Satsuma Saki Tea Cups Heritage Mint Peacock Design Vintage
Set Lot 5 Vintage Satsuma Saki Tea Cups Heritage Mint Peacock Design Vintage
$45.00
3 1 2 H MARKED Kinkozan JAPANESE MEIJI PERIOD SATSUMA TEA SAKE POT
3 1 2 H MARKED Kinkozan JAPANESE MEIJI PERIOD SATSUMA TEA SAKE POT
$1,850.00

As with some of the Satsuma vase items, the cups and pots may have just been ornamental, rather than being used all the time. The Japanese hold tradition and ceremony very highly in their culture, so some pieces of Satsuma were more decorative, not practical.

The tiny Choko sake cups are only designed to hold a very small amount of drink and do not have handles. They tend to be like a rounded bowl shape, rather than with a stem or base to them. However, more modern sake cups made in the Satsuma style (1910's onwards - Meiji period) have been known to represent a traditional western cup design, or have a short stem on the bottom.

Lithophane Sake Cups

Some modern sake cups or bowls have Lithophanes in the bottom, where thin and transparent pottery is used to display an image of a face or a picture. Due to this being quite a modern technique (1820's) the pieces of Satsuma that you might find this on are certainly not antiques. However, they are very beautiful and seeing a face at the bottom of your sake cup after taking a drink would be a good thing.

Tokkuri Pot

The pot used for serving the alcoholic mash made from water and rice is called the Tokkuri and is also quite small in size compared to a western teapot. The Sake would be poured from it's bottled container and served either chilled or at room temperature.

The Tokkuri is usually just a pot with a spout and handles, also decorated in the Satsuma style, but can also take the form of a bottle shape, with a cylindrical body and thinner neck. However, some other items of Satsuma do look like sake bottles - so be careful it is not a bud vase (used for displaying a small amount of flowers). Try to imagine filling the bottle or pouring from it. Sometimes this will help you identify if the bottle is for sake or not.

As part of the sake serving equipment, there are also larger bowls that are used to clean and wash the smaller cups. These bowls can also be hand painted in the satsuma style and form part of a set.

Here are a selection of items for sale on eBay at the moment that relate to Satsumaware Sake cups, pots and equipment.  Remember to check them for authenticity before you buy.

PAIR JAPANESE MEIJI SATSUMA TEA SAKE BOWLS  SIGNED  ONE DAMAGED
PAIR JAPANESE MEIJI SATSUMA TEA SAKE BOWLS SIGNED ONE DAMAGED
£36.65
Antique Japanese Satsuma Saki Guinomi Cup Marked
Antique Japanese Satsuma Saki Guinomi Cup Marked
$10.00
Antique Japanese Satsuma Kiln Sake Cup Guinomi Sakazuki Stylized Chrysanthemums
Antique Japanese Satsuma Kiln Sake Cup Guinomi Sakazuki Stylized Chrysanthemums
$39.95
Satsuma saki cup Moriage 19th century Meiji period Japanese satsuma cup
Satsuma saki cup Moriage 19th century Meiji period Japanese satsuma cup
$28.00
Great Set of 3 Antique Early 20th C Satsuma Sake Cups w Kabuki Actor Bizan
Great Set of 3 Antique Early 20th C Satsuma Sake Cups w Kabuki Actor Bizan
$75.00
Japanese Sake cup Guinomi Ochoko Satsuma Kiriko Ruri red 201 From Japan F S
Japanese Sake cup Guinomi Ochoko Satsuma Kiriko Ruri red 201 From Japan F S
$542.82
Antique Japan Satsuma style Kutani Porcelain Tea Cup Sake Pourer Geisha Creamer
Antique Japan Satsuma style Kutani Porcelain Tea Cup Sake Pourer Geisha Creamer
$328.60
Antique Japanese Satsuma Hand Painted Porcelain Sake Pot Small Jug 65 Tall
Antique Japanese Satsuma Hand Painted Porcelain Sake Pot Small Jug 65 Tall
$69.00
Japanese Porcelain Hand Painted Satsuma Wine Saki Cup Very Old
Japanese Porcelain Hand Painted Satsuma Wine Saki Cup Very Old
$65.00
7 MARKED Kutani Yaki JAPANESE MEIJI PERIOD SATSUMA SAKE BOTTLE VASE
7 MARKED Kutani Yaki JAPANESE MEIJI PERIOD SATSUMA SAKE BOTTLE VASE
$150.00
Japanese Sake cup Guinomi Ochoko Satsuma Kiriko Ruri red From Japan F S
Japanese Sake cup Guinomi Ochoko Satsuma Kiriko Ruri red From Japan F S
$542.82
Satsuma porcelain Sake pot and cup set Pottery Pot for heating SHOCHU
Satsuma porcelain Sake pot and cup set Pottery Pot for heating SHOCHU
$76.75

2 replies on “Satsuma Sake Cups And Pots”

What is my Satsuma plate worth now.Had appreciated but l thought he was under valuing it.
S.KINKOZAN japanese satsuma earthware. W10cm L10cm H2cm.
Prefect condition. No cracks no chips no wear.Clear marks.

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