|Photo cups are quite rare to find. They were made in moderate quantities at the
beginning of the 20th century, but were probably quite expensive. Most have
famous generals, admirals, and political figures, but I have also seen photo cups
with Imperial family members (excluding the Emperor and his immediate family).
Personal cups with photos were even rarer. You can see an example below.
Every so often there are photos of places on cups: buildings and monuments are
the ones usually seen. There is (was) a monument for the war dead erected in
Manchuria and commemorative cups were sometimes made using a photo of that.
|A superb, extremely rare complete boxed set of photo cups. These depict the major figures--both political and military--of
the Russo-Japan War of 1904-5.
|A wonderful individual soldier photo cup. A member of the
2nd regiment of the Imperial Guard. He wears the collar
tabs that were in use up to 1938. His name is Yamamoto,
written on the base.
Photo cups of soldiers like this one were expensive to
produce so there were few made. The family must have
been wealthy. I don't think this would have been issued by
the regiment as many other cups were. Privately
|Of course photo cups were not limited to soldiers.
|Extremely rare photo cup with an airplane, which looks like
a Type 95 Kawasaki bomber. Airplane cups and bottles are
rare, but this is the first one I have seen with an actual
photograph emblazoned in the cup. Inscribed 'Air Corps 1st
Regiment, Discharge Commemorative.'
|This soldier was a member of the Imperial Guard
cavalry. The characters read 'Imperial Guard Cavalry
Commemorative, Ueno.' To the upper right is the IG
insignia, and below the photo is the IG flag.