The Different Wars and Conflicts
There were a variety of different wars and conflicts in Japanese history,
and most of these have military cups associated with them. Here is a brief
outline of events that were commemorated with military cups.

Sino-Japan War 1894-5.

Russo-Japan War 1904-5.

German War (WW1) 1914. These cups were often labeled 'Shantung' after
the place the Shantung Peninsula in China where Japanese forces were
stationed. Also labeled 'Tsingtao' or 'Departure for Germany.'
Click here for the relevant kanji.

Siberian Expedition 1918-22. Short duration and few soldiers assigned, so
cups commemorating this expedition are somewhat rare. Not only that, but
it was not exactly a popular expedition. It received a lot of both domestic
and international criticism.

Jinan Incident (May 3rd Incident) May 3-11, 1928. Exceedingly rare to find
cups labeled 'Jinan Incident' because it was so short. Japanese soldiers
stayed there only six months after the clash.

Manchurian Incident 1931-33.

Shanghai Incident 1932.

China Incident (Sino-Japan War) 1937-41.

Pacific War 1941-45. These are also rare because valuable resources
(including labor) were all channelled into the war effort. Almost never
named nor were the regiments ever specified.

In between these major conflicts were a variety of military events that
demanded to be commemorated, from personal events like discharges to
larger events like training exercises, many of which took place in the 1910s
and 20s. Also there was a major reorganization of the units in 1925: Many
regiments were disbanded and merged into other regiments, and many
cups were made to commemorate this.

There were also various competitions such as sharpshooting. Champions
were often awarded sake cups.

Generally speaking, cups made before the Manchurian Incident tend to be
sakazuki (the larger, shallower cups) and were named and the regiment
noted. Once the China War started, the demand for cups became greater
and the resources fewer. Most cups were
ochoko (small, one-shot cups)
and were not usually named after 1942.

For more detailed definitions of the sake cup types, see
page 2 of the Intro.