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AIZU LACQUER WARE small sake cups set (3 pieces set)

$ 139.00
- +

The most famous of all Aizu lacquer ware design products, this special small cup set can be used for a celebratory drink or just as ornaments. Aizu Lacquer ware is very popular for these cups because of the beautifully designed shape and the superb polishing.

Sake is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. Sake is sometimes called "rice wine" but the brewing process is more akin to beer, converting starch to sugar for the fermentation process, by using Aspergillus oryzae.  

The Japanese believe that drinking Sake is one of the finer pleasures in life, and in order to enjoy it to the fullest the Sake bottle you pour from and the Sake cup you pour into should be as beautiful or as interesting as possible.  Sake is made all over Japan and each has its own unique flavor, reflecting the area it comes from. Some Sake is quite sweet while others can be very dry, with as many variations as fine wine. 

Japanese urushi lacquer is made from the sap of the urushi tree.  Urushi lacquer resists corrosion and wears well.  It resists heat, bacteria and has high insulation properties.  Lacuqer coats do not allow the passage of hydrogen molecules, making them excellent sealants.  There are three stages in Aizu-nuri: "kiji," or forming the base of wood; "nuri," which is the application of lacquer coatings to seal and protect the object; and "kashoku," decoration of the surface. 

Lacquerware combines both beauty and functionality. It is displaying a beautiful glossy surface that is created by urushi topcoat. It is said that “urushi” is named after Japanese language,"uruwashii" or "uruoshi," that means something beautiful and glossy. Furthermore, wooden tableware is very light to hold, and has its special warmth and touch indescribable by words. Japanese have been very fond of these characteristics especially because they hold plates and bowls in their hands when they eat. Because wood has very low heat conductivity, lacquerware is excellent in insulation which enables to keep the food inside warm for a long time without bringing heat directly to hands holding it. It is the balance of function and design that makes Japanese lacquerware very special.

Don't be confused by plastic made lacquer ware you may find on the market.  You will find a few different types of lacquer ware on the market - 

 

1) Real Wood Lacquer ware

made in Japan

Use trees such as zelcova and Japanese horse chestnut in japan and polish in Japan.

The most expensive kind.  It would be over $30 for a small bowl and up to $200 in well known department stores and speciality stores.

2) Real Wood Lacquer ware

made in China

Use natural trees and lacquer polished in China.

They are around $5 and available in many retail stores.

3) Read Wood Lacquer ware

imported from China and

lacquer polished in Japan

Made in China then imported to Japan 

to re-polish.

They are around $12 through $25 and available in department stores and speciality stores.

4) Plastic Lacquer ware

Use ABS plastic or ABS plastic combined with wood chips then lacquered.

They are around $8 through $25 available in department stores and speciality stores.

(5) Plastic ware polished

with Ulethane Resin

Use ABS plastic or ABS plastic combined with wood chips then polished with ulethane resin.

They are available in supermarket or doller stores for $1 through $5. Often they are microwave safe.

 

2) and 3) are getting dominant even in Japan because of the price and consequently the real lacquer ware truly made in Japan are getting harder to find.  $50 for a bowl may not be the cheapest but the piece of art handcrafted by prestigious artisans that you can use every day is totally worth.

Unlike plastic, ceramic and glass, lacquer has a special property that sees it truly develop a beautiful gloss and a cool feel the more it is used. This is a reward from lacquer that can only be enjoyed by those who make it a part of their lives.

Genuine Aizu Lacquer ware is very hard to find in the US.  Our Aizu Lacquer ware come from the prestigious potteries that have been in business for a very long time in the Aizu area.  You will surely enjoy beautiful gloss and cool feel of traditional Aizu Lacquer ware.

 

HOW TO CARE URUSHI LACQUER WARE

 

1) This includes but is not limited to direct sunlight, halogen lamps, black lights, and disinfecting cabinets. Exposure to ultraviolet light will cause discoloration as well as cracking, crazing and deterioration of surface luster. To maintain prevent minor cosmetic changes in color, urushi should be stored in a dark place when not in use. It is also recommended that you place a tissue or a cloth between the lacquerware, wrap them, and avoid extremely dry environment if they are not used for a long time.

2) Although urushi can withstand many every day chemicals such as alcohol, acids and bases, it will not withstand some harsher chemicals. Rinse out in warm water and put watered-down mild detergent liquid on a dishcloth or a soft non abrasive sponge and wash gently If greased on. After washing, drain and dry with a cloth before dried out. Dishwashers are also not recommended because of the high heat and rapid temperature changes involved.

3) Although urushi itself can withstand very high temperatures, most lacquerware has wood, resin or hard rubber as a core. Microwaves can also cause excessive drying and cause a piece to craze or crack or the metal powder or foil used in the lacquer will react adversely to the microwave radiation. Putting in microwave will damage your lacquer ware.

 

Dimensions: 2.28 " x 2.28 " x 4.29 " (when stacked)
Weight: 0.3 lb

 

Shipped in 2 weeks.

See more: Sake Set
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