Posted by: softypapa | March 14, 2008

Japanese Wooden Sake Cup Shichifukujin Luck God Guinomi

Sake Cup Guinomi Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Cup Guinomi Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Cup Guinomi Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Sake Cup Guinomi Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 




This splendid high quality wood and lacquer sake cup (guinomi in Japanese) features a hand-painted image of the Japanese Shinto luck god Bishamonten.  This god is a member of the group of seven luck gods called Shichifukujin.  This sake cup was made during the mid to late Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) and is in very good condition with no cracks or large chips and only small scratches and marks from handling and use.  The cup was acquired in the beautiful and historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Click here to see more sake cups!

In Japanese folklore the Shichifukujin are the seven gods of wealth, happiness and longevity.  These famous gods (six male and one female) are frequently seen together in Japanese art, often in a boat sailing the seas of fortune.  However, the individual gods actually hail from a variety of religious faiths including Buddhism and Taoism as well as Japan’s native religion of Shinto.  The gods are:

  1. EbisuEbisu is Japan’s god of fisherman and the morning sun.  Ebisu is also sometimes regarded as the protector of small children, a role he shares with the Buddhist deity JizoEbisu is also the only member of the Shichifukujin seven who is of Japanese origin.
  2. DaikokutenDaikoku is the god of wealth, food and worldly success; and statues of this happy deity have for centuries been common fixtures of Japanese homes, particularly kitchens.  Daikoku is also reputed to be Ebisu’s father.
  3. Fukurokujin – Originating in Chinese Taoism this god is the symbol of wealth, happiness and longevity and is usually seen carrying a long staff or cane.
  4. Hoteison – A plump Zen Buddhist monk from China, usually seen with a bag in one hand and a fan in the other.
  5. Jurojin – The Taoist god of long life.  This god is also usually seen carrying a staff in his hand.
  6. Benzaiten – The only female of the bunch.  This goddess is from India and is the patron of music and culture.  She is usually seen carrying an old fashioned Japanese biwa (a type of lute).
  7. Bishamonten – The warrior of the bunch.  This god is originally from India and is charged with protecting people and their treasure.  Bishamonten is usually depicted wearing armor.

Height: 1.0 inches (2.5 centimeters)
Diameter: 2.1 inches (5.5 centimeters)
Weight: 0.3 ounces (8 grams)

Click here to see additional sake items!
here to see other Shichifukujin items!
here to see more fine-quality Japanese ceramics!
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Japanese sake and sake utensils

Sake has long been an important part of Japanese culture.  In the past, sake was considered a very special item, reserved for only the most important occasions, such as weddings, birth celebrations and other auspicious events.  Sake was considered a sacred drink, and accordingly the first glass poured was always offered to the gods before the remainder could be shared among the celebrants.  Sake can be served either warm or cold and special sake flasks are used to both prepare and dispense this unique Japanese drink.  Sake is warmed either by immersing the flask (already filled with sake of course) into warm water until the desired temperature is reached or through the use of a special sake kettle called a choshi.  The latter method however, though common in old Japan, is today usually reserved for ceremonial events only.  Over time, sake utensils, such as cups have developed their own ritual significance which is still evident in modern Japan.  For example, it is today common at Japanese engagement parties for the man and woman to exchange sake cups as a sign of their mutual intent to marry.  Very beautiful sake cups are also given away to celebrate the birth of a child, as these cherished items are considered symbolic of the significance of the new parent-child relationship.  Though normally small in size, sake cups and flasks have long been used in Japan as a medium for the expression of art and calligraphy.  Hand-painted cups and flasks are highly collectable both within and outside Japan and are eagerly sought after by collectors who value their utilitarian nature and artistic splendor.

item code: R3S6B1R11-0004436
category code: SAKECUP
ship code: L1650


  1. Besides the focus on this site of being japanese oriented its funtion is to demostrate the antique iteams from back then.
    I can connect powerpoint that we have had in class in Japonisme where it explaines the violence between the Euporeapns and the painting on the bowl of a warrior, and paintings that seem during that era.
    I gained from this site that Japanese art is highly appreciated and that it conserves its valuable meaning throughout time.
    My post contributed to the discussion in Japanese art being very historical.

  2. I didn’t realize how important sake was to the ceremony of the Japanese cultural traditions. It’s beautiful and delicious

  3. I love this cup because the picture is detailed and the colors are so vibrant.The warrior god seems dimentional in a way,ready to jump out of the cup. An interesting fact I did not know was that the Japenese have seven gods of wealth, happiness and longevity. This cup is well kept for how old it is which is amazing and astonishing.I wonder how much these cups go for on sale. This would be beautiful to keep and then be passed on to generations.

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