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Crystal Sake Cups at LIULI Crystal Art 

Inspired by the Japanese sake drinking ritual, elegant, colorful crystal sake cups at LIULI celebrate the long-honored tradition of sharing in drinking and celebration.

Raise a glass, toast, and imbibe. Here’s to the ever-changing seasons and all the memorable moments therein with the ones we cherish and love. Encourage more laughter. Like the ting of crystal coming together, uniting and igniting the fire of life.

We all share a brief yet beautiful time. Commemorate and make the most of each milestone, special moment, and even every day by reveling in the understated yet immense splendor that surrounds us all.

At LIULI, we honor this essence and Joie de vie with a set of 4 unique and stunning Japanese crystal sake glasses crafted by deft and scrupulous hands — the collection we deem ‘A Drink to Virtue.’

Each cup represents one of the four themes of the “Four Gentlemen,” which correspond to a different flower and one of the four seasons.

  • Summer = Bamboo 
  • Winter = Plum Blossom 
  • Spring = Orchid 
  • Fall = Chrysanthemum 

 

These cups are the ideal size for sake but are also suitable for soju, baijiu, and others and measure 7 cm X 5.1 cm.

The Four Gentlemen

The Four Gentlemen are popular motifs in Chinese art, with each representing a different season and flower (bamboo, orchid, plum blossom, chrysanthemum). They are also known as The Four Noble Ones. Much like individuals know those with kindness and character to be gentlemanly, the four flowers get their benevolent moniker, because, in ancient China, these flowers or plants were said to exude these same admirable characteristics lauded by the human race. For example, a gentleman is often respectful, loyal, hard-working, and group-oriented, or perhaps even selfless to an extent.

  • Bamboo is often hollow and grows tall while expanding during the summer months, which epitomizes being accepting, principled, and open-minded.
  • Plum blossoms are known to represent moral virtue and strength since they grow in winter and defy the cold.
  • Orchids symbolize fertility and fortune in ancient China, as well as the spring. They were also a popular flower commissioned for scroll paintings in ancient Japan and were also known to be kept at the temples of the affluent.
  • Chrysanthemums represent autumn and are revered for their long lifespan or longevity.

The Four Gentlemen appear in paintings in China during the Song dynasty from the year 960 to 1279. However, after this, their influence is said to have spread to other areas of Asia. They are featured in what are known as traditional wash or ink paintings classified as ‘bird-and-flower-paintings.’

In the art form known as Chinese ink brush painting, the flowers represent different painting stroke techniques. In Chinese art, there are typically three primary categories of painting that include ‘bird-and-flower painting,’ as well as landscape and figure forms of painting.

Handcrafted crystal cups and the tradition of sake in Japan

This handcrafted assortment embodies the four seasons and the plants represented by The Four Gentlemen. They remind us to find joy and virtue in all seasons, whether filled with the radiant sun, cool air, clear skies, or icy crystals. We find beauty in all that is around us and in a constant state of flux.

These crystal sake cups are ideal for sipping sake with friends, family, and those close to you. And are the perfect addition to a current barware collection, so attractive, they could easily stand out as a table arrangement or centerpiece or standalone piece on shelving and more.

The colors include a plum cup, representing the plum blossom; amber, for the chrysanthemums; green representing bamboo, and sky blue for the stunning orchid, with its delicate blooming floral arch.

Sake and pouring etiquette

In Japan, drinking sake is a social affair. The term o-shaku is even said to refer to the custom or perhaps even polite gesture of pouring sake for everyone else but yourself.

In addition to bringing together current friends, drinking sake (and not just sake) can turn into the creation of new friends and acquaintances, as well as the continuation of memories and celebration.

Sake should be sipped, and it can be served either warm or chilled. When poured, the person receiving the drink should hold the cup with their hands, supporting the base of the cup with the hand. Take a drink before once more placing it on the table (after the drink is poured). When pouring the sake, be sure to support the bottle with both hands, starting to pour slowly and ending the pour slowly to avoid spilling or overfilling.

View more sake cups and drinkware designs in Tableware Collection.

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