Metal sake cup with military star and branches.
Inscribed 'Discharge Commemorative.'
Rare metal sake cup that might be a kabuto helmet
cup. No inscriptions.

Unknown date, probably Russo-Japan War (1904-5).
However, it might be much earlier than that.
Pewter sake cup with three combat helmets.
Inscribed 'Victorious Return Commemorative, 18th
Engineer Unit, Matsumoto.'

Unknown date, probably 1930s.
Pewter sake cup with anchor and battle flag.
Inscribed 'Navy Discharge Commemorative.'

Unknown date, probably 1920s or 30s.
Rare metal sake cup with blossoms and partial map of
Manchuria, including Port Arthur and Dairen. Sharp embossed
image.

Unknown date, probably Russo-Japan War (1904-5).
Early metal sake cup with a cherry blossom and Imperial Paulonia
Leaves. Gold wash. Sharp embossed image.

Inscribed on the reverse: 'Meiji 32 [1899], Imperial Ancestors, Warrior
Gods, In Celebration of the Emperor's Birthday, Festival
Commemorative Sake Cup.'
Extremely scarce General Nogi metal sake cup with gold wash.
Around the famous general are the common Imperial symbols,
mums and paulonia leaves.  Inscribed on the reverse 'Meiji 37-8
[1904-5] Years War, Departure to Russia, Victorious Return
Commemorative'.  
Pewter sake cup with Army star. Inscribed 'Shanghai
Incident, Kawamura.'
Pewter sake cup with Army star. Inscribed
'Manchuria Dispatch, Victorious Return
Commemorative, 48th Infantry, Kishikawa.'
Interesting metal sake cup with gold wash from the
Russo-Japan War of 1904-5.  Inscribed: 'Banzai to the
Empire!'
Interesting metal sake cup with gold wash from the
Russo-Japan War of 1904-5.  IJN flag along with three
Japanese flags. Above is a hawk and cherry blossom.
Sharp embossed figures. No inscriptions.
Interesting metal sake cup with gold wash from the
Russo-Japan War of 1904-5.  IJN flag and Army Battalion
flag. Inscribed: 'Banzai to the Army and Navy!'
The pattern shows a hawk being smashed by an anchor.
I've never seen such a design before. Inscribed:
'Sacrifice for the Country, Conquer Russia, Victorious
Return Commemorative, Meiji 37-8 [1904-5] Years War.'
Metal sake cups
Commemorative sake cups were made from a variety of materials, among them different kinds of metal. It
seems as though the metal ones were not meant to be used, but I have seen one 1930s ad from a pewter
maker that claimed drinking from a pewter cup is absolutely the best. Common sense (and a few personal
tests) have proven this advertiser wrong. However, I suppose some people must like the feel.

I think it is safe to assume that most metal cups are pre-1935. After 1935 or so, the war machine cranked into
high gear and needed the metal to be used for the war effort. I have seen cups as early as 1894.
Click here to see cups from that period.

I have seen various types of metals used: pure silver, steel, tin, pewter, etc. Some are also plated with a shiny
silver coating, below which is a cheaper, less attractive metal. Oftentimes the bowls were coated with a gold
wash. This wash rarely extended to the reverse.