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Kakyōsai Shōzan

Cup for saké (sakazuki) before 1865

Wood, red, gold and silver lacquer | 13.0 x 56.0 x 56.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 26154

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Early diplomatic contact between Japan and Britain was not without conflict. These gifts were sent to Queen Victoria as a sign of peace after the two nations exchanged fire at Kagoshima in 1863. The elderly couple on the saké cup represent enduring harmony. The deer, considered a divine messenger, has been engraved and burnished to resemble the spotted hide of the sika deer of Japan.