Masu(枡), a small wooden box, was originally used to measure rice and even as a form of currency. Now more commonly known for drinking sake, interior decorations or souvenir from Japan.
The smell will be what hit you immediately; you could almost taste the flavour of the hinoki wood. Hinoki, a species of cypress native to central Japan in East Asia, has been a precious wood since ancient times in Japan for building shrines. Because of its water repellent surface, the Japanese “Hinoki” cypress is a typical material but more luxurious for making wooden tools in families and perfect for making masu.
ICHI GO(一合): a traditional Japanese unit of measuring rice. Nowadays, it is still popular to be used as one serve of rice for Japanese rice cookers (150g) or one serve of sake in Japanese cuisine (180.4ml).
Drinking sake directly from the masu cup is one way. Another way of drinking sake is to put a sake cup inside the masu. Some Japanese restaurants will pour and overflow sake into the masu cup to express their hospitality.
As every piece has its handmade feature, slight irregularities in size, glaze, colour and texture might occur and reflect the nature of the artisan product.