WW2 Japanese Army Soldier Sake Bottle (Tokkuri 徳利)

A break from Manchukuo medals, which I’d like to get back to…

Today, though, I am happy to introduce an interesting soldier-shaped sake bottle. First I’ll show the pics, then a short explanation.

The shape, as you can see, is an Army soldier. He wears a cap with Army star, has shoulder rank tabs, and also buttons and belt. Very nicely made. You may be able to see a series of cracks in the glaze. These do not extend to the pottery. They are done purposefully as a nice textured touch. It is called crazing. I believe it happens when the firing is at a higher temperature than normal.

The soldier stands in some blossoms, and an inscription has been embossed into the pottery. It says ‘Health Bottle’ or Kenkou Tokkuri 健康徳利 in Japanese. Kenkou means health, so this could be (and most probably is) a bottle given to wish one good health or good luck even. It seems an appropriate gift for a soldier newly inducted or even for a discharged soldier. Anyway, a rare item for sure. I don’t think I have seen one like this before, but my memory is getting a bit blurry on some days.

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Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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