Japanese WW2 era Molded Design Sake Bottles

Some of the most interesting military commemorative items from Japan are the decorated sake bottles, called tokkuri (徳利) in Japanese. You can see a variety of designs on my Imperial Japan Sake Cups website, but I’d like to take a few posts to examine some of the embossed designs on these bottles.

Of course, a variety of images and designs were painted on bottles after they were manufactured, and these are really spectacular when done well. But some of the designs have been embossed onto the bottle and are part of the mold.  Today I’ll show two examples. The first is a discharge commemorative bottle and the main design is probably the painted battle flag and cherry tree.

However, complementing this painted design are embossed figures. On the obverse is a plane, gun, and anti-aircraft artillery. The reverse:

Here we have more images: a plane, warship, and tank. And a bullet-shaped area within which the inscription is written. So on this bottle the embossed figures are important but they seem to be secondary to the painted design.

This next bottle has a large embossed and painted cannon, so this figure is obviously the most important.

The embossed decoration above and below the cannon highlight it nicely.The reverse is here:

The embossed designs here frame the inscription which, though not visually impressive, is quite important: ‘Artillery, 5th Regiment, Discharge Commemorative.’

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Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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