Japanese Imperial Palace Bridge on Sake Cups

Here are a few sake cups with the Imperial Palace Bridge design. As far as sake cups go, almost every cup with this design is inscribed to an Imperial Guards unit, no doubt because of the connection to the Imperial family. Generally speaking, the best recruits were channeled into the Imperial Guard, at least before the 1930s.

japanese sake cupsjapanese sake cups

All four examples show the Stone Bridge, not the Iron Bridge. I suppose this is because the former is visible to observers of the Imperial Palace while the latter is mostly hidden from view. (See a brief discussion of these two parts of the same bridge in my last post.) But for some reason the nickname of the Iron Bridge (Nijuu Bashi 二重橋) has been used to identify the Stone Bridge. Perhaps some readers may wonder ‘What’s the big deal?’ or more bluntly ‘Who cares?’ I, too, don’t feel that the distinction really matters too much, but, for historical accuracy, one should know these kinds of seemingly irrelevant details.


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