Sake: Rice Wine
According to the Japanese Sake Brewers Association, "sake has always been a way of bringing our gods and people together.” Invented over two thousand years ago from fermented rice, the drink remains a cherished offering to the various gods and deities of the Shinto religion. A cup or two is still used by just about everybody to celebrate calendar holidays like New Year as well as the special joys of seasonal glory, like spring peach blossoming or the full harvest moon. The artistry of objects associated with drinking sake is also part of the celebration. The tokkuri, a ceramic flask in which sake is traditionally served, is still hand spun by potters to have a large body and a narrow neck that increases the aroma. The ochokos, the small cups individuals use to drink sake, are also still handmade. The Japanese believe the more visually uplifting the tokkuri and ochoko are, the more inspiration the sake drinker will enjoy.