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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.

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VINTAGE SATSUMA JAPAN SAKI TEA CUP PEACOCK DESIGN GOLD TRIM ON RIM 1979
VINTAGE SATSUMA JAPAN SAKI TEA CUP PEACOCK DESIGN GOLD TRIM ON RIM 1979
$12.95
Edo Kiriko Glass Blue Rare Vintage Wine Sake Cup Handmade in Japan
Edo Kiriko Glass Blue Rare Vintage Wine Sake Cup Handmade in Japan
$130.00
Japanese Wine Glass Edo Kiriko Vtg Blue Crystal Glass Cold Sake Cup Pair
Japanese Wine Glass Edo Kiriko Vtg Blue Crystal Glass Cold Sake Cup Pair
$130.00

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Antique Signed Japanese Meiji Period Satsuma Peacock Vase
Antique Signed Japanese Meiji Period Satsuma Peacock Vase
$75.00
Vintage Satsuma Moriyama Moriage Porcelain Sake Decanter Keg Barrel Dispenser
Vintage Satsuma Moriyama Moriage Porcelain Sake Decanter Keg Barrel Dispenser
$10.00
Pair Vintage Satsuma Japanese Peonies Peacock Mandarin Ducks Sake Bottles 4 oz
Pair Vintage Satsuma Japanese Peonies Peacock Mandarin Ducks Sake Bottles 4 oz
$79.99

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.

As an eBay Partner, I may be compensated if you make a purchase

Vintage Satsuma Moriyama Moriage Porcelain Sake Decanter Keg Barrel Dispenser
Vintage Satsuma Moriyama Moriage Porcelain Sake Decanter Keg Barrel Dispenser
$10.00
Japan Satsuma Sake Saki Cup Sakazuki Guinoni Nozoki Square Cherry Blossoms
Japan Satsuma Sake Saki Cup Sakazuki Guinoni Nozoki Square Cherry Blossoms
$24.95
Satsuma Arnart Imports 1979 Tea Saki Cup Peacock Floral Japan 325 Vintage
Satsuma Arnart Imports 1979 Tea Saki Cup Peacock Floral Japan 325 Vintage
$10.00

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VTG Crackle Porcelain Japanese Satsuma Sake Set 1 Decanter 4 Cups
VTG Crackle Porcelain Japanese Satsuma Sake Set 1 Decanter 4 Cups
$19.99
M7414Japanese Satsuma ware Gold paint Guinomi SAKE CUP auto w signed box
M7414Japanese Satsuma ware Gold paint Guinomi SAKE CUP auto w signed box
$14.99
Japanese Meiji Satsuma Sake Pot W Butterflies  King Fisher By Senzan
Japanese Meiji Satsuma Sake Pot W Butterflies King Fisher By Senzan
$399.00

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Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Sake Cup DOUBLE COLOR Cut to Clear Crystal Glass Japan
Shimadzu Satsuma Kiriko Sake Cup DOUBLE COLOR Cut to Clear Crystal Glass Japan
$375.00
Vintage Satsuma Moriage Hand Painted Porcelain Sake Decanter
Vintage Satsuma Moriage Hand Painted Porcelain Sake Decanter
$12.50
Japanese Ceramic Satsuma Tea Pot Soy Sauce Sake Server
Japanese Ceramic Satsuma Tea Pot Soy Sauce Sake Server
$173.73

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Kamotsuru Sake Moriage Satsuma Empty Decanter God of Wealth
Kamotsuru Sake Moriage Satsuma Empty Decanter God of Wealth
$13.00
Detailed Japanese Meiji Satsuma Sake Pot W Brass Handle Signed
Detailed Japanese Meiji Satsuma Sake Pot W Brass Handle Signed
$449.00
2 Japanese Satsuma Earthenware Millefleur Thousand Flower Sake Wine Cup Masuyama
2 Japanese Satsuma Earthenware Millefleur Thousand Flower Sake Wine Cup Masuyama
$150.00

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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