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Japanese Military Sake Cups

Collection of John J. Hartwell
Some Recent Acquisitions
Medical Service


The poem begins:
          "For the sake of theEmperor,
            Leaving for Manchuria for garrison duty."
So far, I've been unable to find anybody who can read the second half.


Crossed Natioal and Red Cross flags.
Below the flags: EI-SI-BU (medic).
The bottom 2 kanji I can't make out. The first (right) appears to be the numeral '9' -- but I don't know if the vertical stroke at the right has any meaning or not.

Samurai Poem
"The Flower among flowers is the cherry-blossom.
The Man among men is the Samurai."


In the 1920s and 30s, every Japanese child was taught the words from the "Hymn of the Yasukuni Shrine". But, the quote was much older. It appears in the works of the 15th century monk Ikkyu, and has even been attributed to the great Samurai hero Kusnoki Masahige (1294-1336).
Pink cherry blossom below. Army star above. Very idiosyncratic calligraphy - difficult to read.

16th Transport Regiment


This spectaculrly chubby little horse is irresistable. The artist was clearly expressing a sense of humor when, in a few graceful strokes, he brought the happy little beast to life..
The calligraphy is strange to me, and I can't quite figure it out from the picture. The cup hasn't arrived from Japan yet. When it does I'll be able to study it more carefully.

Russia Conquest Commemoration


A very attractive cup from the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5).
The paulonia leaf "Kiri", one of the two principal Crests of the Imperial family (the other being the 16 petal Chrysanthemum). Above is an Army star.
No unit designation, but the soldier's name appears in the base of the cup.



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