After the demise of the Han dynasty (220 AD), China entered into a prolonged dark age until the Sui dynasty once again unified the country ( 581 AD). During the dark age, China’s various regions were constantly embroiled in conflict. This sake cup came from this period of wars. It has been considered to be used in ceremonies when warriors were allowed to enter into a room where they were received by the war lord. The cup was handed to a warrior, who would drink its sake ceremoniously. These warriors were ordered to hold the small lip on each side of the cup carefully with both hands to receive sake and drink it. One can only imagine that this must have been for them a difficult task, with their large hands accustomed to battle.
The inconvenience of this cup was, in fact, intentional. It was designed to prevent the warriors from reaching to their swords during ceremony to assassinate the war lord.
Despite of the function of its design, the work remains quiet, powerful, and very elegant.