Japanese is a fairly modular language and happy to stick prefixes on words even if they come from different languages. As you can imagine, this lends itself to even more dreadful puns.
And now, there’s マイ升 (maimasu), your own personal masu. The Mashikaku company celebrated the opening of their new location by offering a sake tasting to customers who purchased a monogrammed masu – but not just any monogram, and not your traditional masu either.
The company has a range of clothing, accessories and phone cases that can be monogrammed with a kanji character, which they refer to as “mojigramming”. (Yes, more word play with the Japanese word for a character, moji, glued onto the second half of “monogram”). And while they offer a traditional wooden masu, they also have a cut crystal masu, not something I’d seen before.
Participants at the event were shown how to make their own unique masu and then had a tasting with three sake from the Niigata Yoshinogawa brewery – or coffee, if you ask nicely.
Their site lets you enter one or two characters for engraving, and there seems to be only one pattern (diamond) and only clear glass available (the pattern and colour selection may be for other products), and your very own masu will set you back JPY 2,700 for crystal with your character(s) engraved on alternate rows and JPY 2,400 for a wooden one with a single character burnt onto one side.
It’s an interesting concept – I’m not a huge fan of the traditional masu because of the flavour it gives to the sake, but this one – being unreactive glass as the article on drinking vessels pointed out – won’t do that. I still find it a bit awkward to drink from, but who knows, I might get on better with this one!