Emperor Hirohito’s Coronation (1928) gift set, part 2

Let’s take a closer look at the pieces in this set. Before introducing each one, note that on every piece (excluding the chopsticks, which are unmarked), there is the same inscription on the obverse and reverse. On the reverse of each piece (excluding the chopsticks) is the place and date: ‘Showa 3 [1928] November 16th, Kobe City.’
Reverse inscription
Reverse inscription

And on the obverse of each is the phrase ‘Imperial Gift.’

Obverse inscription

Obverse inscription

The date on each piece is certainly valuable. Sometimes one will find an inscribed box with contents that may or may not be original to the box. Obviously, with this set there is no doubt.

The pieces are as follows: a sake cup, a sake flask, a small and large bowl, a pair of chopsticks, and a tray.

I’ll discuss the material later, but first some pictures of the pieces. Here are the bowls.

Bowls (obverse)

Bowls (obverse)

 

Bowls, reverse

Bowls, reverse

And here is the flask.

Sake flask (徳利 tokkuri)

Sake flask (徳利 tokkuri)

The sake cup and the chopsticks.

Sake cup (盃 sakazuki)

Sake cup (盃 sakazuki)

Chopsticks (お箸 o-hashi)

Chopsticks (お箸 o-hashi)

And finally the tray.

Tray (お盆 o-bon)

Tray (お盆 o-bon)

I’d like to say a few things about the quality of the pottery and the inscription on the box lid, too. However, in the distance I hear the children wailing and the wife shouting. In my next post I’ll talk a little bit about why the items are unglazed and other things that seem important.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have a set of Sakazuki sake wine cups in solid gold with the imperial Chrysanthemum and provenance. They were given to a high ranking Japanese Government official by Hirohito himslelf

  2. Hello Joseph. Solid gold? Are you sure they aren’t gold-plated? There are a lot of those around. Of course, I have seen solid gold cups with the Imperial mum, too, but as you can expect they are tremendously expensive. Cheers, Rich

  3. Yes, they are definitely solid Solid Gold and very expensive, they were given to George Etsujiro Uehara and sold at his daughter’s estate along with George Etsujiro Uehara’s medals. They are two of them (one with mandala and one with incription), have been tested and are a minimum of 22k but others have stated they are 24K yellow gold. Each has the Imperial Mum in the center of the bowl. Combimed weight of both are 10.81 troy ounces. They are magnificent!! Etsujiro Uehara was a signer of the Japanese Constitution and Imperial Household act and wrote the Politics of Japan as his thesis at the London School of Economics and was Assistant Speaker of the Lower House in pre-war Japan. He was an expert on the Meiji Constitution and helped write the “MacArthur” Japanese post war constitution while in the Yoshida Cabinet. One of his medals amongst the Rising Sun, and the Secret Treasure, was the coronation of Hirohito. He was a close friend of Hirohito and his father and grandfather.

  4. There is a set of three sake cups in silver with the same Imperial Chrysanthemum that were given to General Nogi from Emperor Meiji on exhibition Spirit of Japan on the Battleship Mikasa probably on loan from the Nogi Museum in Tokyo.
    See link below.
    http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=46395

    Emperor Meiji used to give gifts in silver like these sake cups if he and his enterage visited a high ranking official’s home and ater dinner.

    Meiji died in 1912

    The Sake cups i own are in 24K gold.

    George Etsujiro U(y)ehara published The Politiacal Development of Japan as his Doctor’s Thesis at the London School of Economics in 1909, It was an important book written in English and referred profusely to the Meiji Constitution.


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