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Title:Funaki sake cup
Date Made:20th century
Measurements:Overall: 3 1/16 in x 1 3/4 in; 7.8 cm x 4.4 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1996.375.1
Credit Line:Gift of Lakenan Barnes (Class of 1928)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
This glazed stoneware choko (sake cup) is displayed in a pair (see AC 1996.375.2) as a visual reminder of the social etiquette of sake drinking: if drinking with company, one should pour the other’s sake, and vice versa (with the younger person usually pouring for the older first). Sake’s main ingredients are fermented rice, kōji (a rice-derived yeast), and water.

The Funaki family–based kilns from which these cups originate have been in operation for five generations, and are part of a rich rural craft tradition in Fujina, near Matsue City in Shimane Prefecture. From the late 1920s, the Funaki workshop—along with newly opened kilns and cooperative pottery studios—were at the heart of the mingei (min, “people,” gei, “craft”) movement led by scholar-critic Yanagi Sōetsu. One of its stylistic tenets was a preference for simple, natural forms over intricate or excessive decoration, as echoed in the bamboo shape and rough texture of these choko.
AH, 2014

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