Japanese Sake Sets

The Japanese believe that drinking Sake is one of the finer pleasures in life, and in order to enjoy it to the fullest the Sake bottle you pour from and the Sake cup you pour into should be as beautiful or as interesting as possible. Handmade, hand-painted Sake bottles and cups are made all over Japan, in a tremendous variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Delicious Sake becomes even more delicious when it is sipped from a one-of-a-kind Japanese Sake Set that delights the eye as well as the palate. (A famous Japanese proverb is "Me de taberu." Eat with the eyes first, THEN with the palate.")

We take great pleasure in searching for the most unique, beautiful Japanese Sake Sets we can find. Below is a selection of some of the finest Sake ceramics, from handmade Mashiko Pottery to antique porcelain. All are hand-thrown, and all are hand-painted, not set from a mold or made in a factory.

As true Sake lovers know, Sake is made all over Japan and each has its own unique flavor, reflecting the area it comes from. Some Sake is quite sweet while others can be very dry, with as many variations as fine wine. Sake can be sipped both hot or ice cold, so it is a wonderful way to warm up in the winter, or cool off in the summer. Some of our personal favorite Sake brands are Kurosawa (like the Japanese Director), Harushika (Spring Deer), and Onigoroshi (Demon Killer), to name just a few. But there are hundreds of different types of Sake, and with Sake Bars becoming popular in many large cities, you can go to sip and sample many different kinds while enjoying a bit of Japanese food.

By the way, if you want to impress the chef at your local Japanese restaurant, learn how to pronounce the word "Sake" correctly. It's NOT pronounced "Saki" like the word "key", but rather like the "ke" sound in the word "kettle". "Sa-ke", with equal emphasis on each syllable.

A Sake bottle's liquid capacity is measured by the word "Go". An "Ichi-Go" Sake bottle is a normal size, and a standard measure. We have some Sake bottles larger than that that are "Ni-Go" containers; in other words they will hold twice as much Sake as the "Ichi-Go" bottle.

Many of our Sake Sets are from the famous pottery village of Mashiko, and come with the following explanation, so they make the Perfect Gift!

"Mashiko ware is a traditional pottery that was established in the town of Mashiko, in Tochigi Prefecture, over 150 years ago. From the very beginning, the ceramics produced here were simple household articles meant to be used on a daily basis, and Mashiko pottery became famous when the artist Hamada Shoji settled there and eventually became know as Japan's most famous potter and National Living Treasure. "Mingei", which literally means "craft of the people", became a national movement when such noted artists as Hamada, Soetsu Yanagi, and Kawai Kanjiro became concerned with preserving the traditional art of rustic beauty in everyday objects. A piece of Mingei traditional folk art was well-made, and strong enough to survive a lifetime of use. Yet Mingei pieces were often astoundingly beautiful in their grace and simplicity, while also possessing great humbleness. They were hardly ever signed by the artist. The best of traditional Mashiko ceramics evokes this grace and beauty, and it is these characteristics which make it a favorite pottery throughout Japan."

 



This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 27 July, 2010.