Rare Antique Japanese Military Aviso Anegawa Long Voyage Navy Sake Cup
This is a rare antique Japanese military sake cup, decorated with an anchor, a flag, and the words "Warship Anegawa Long Distance Voyage Commemoration" and the sailor's name Hatano. The Anegawa is a ship captured from the Russians at Port Arthur - it was scuttled by the Russians and raised by the Japanese. The ship was called Angara and was a pretend-cruiser with some guns mounted on it - but it was mostly a decoy. The guns were dismounted and the ship was turned into a hospital ship, but it was scuttled when the Japanese came. After the Japanese raised it they renamed it Anegawa - because it sounds like Angara - and used it as an aviso (corvette). The Russians protested that a hospital ship shouldn't be captured and should be returned. In turn, the Japanese claimed because it was storing some military supplies, it was not a real hospital ship. After some back and forth, the Japanese emperor decided to give it back to the Russian Tsar as a gift. In 1911 this exchange was effected when the ship sailed from Kure to Vladivostok, whereupon the ship was transferred to the Russians.
There's no record of this ship having gone on any long distance voyage - so this cup likely commemorates the only thing significant it's done as a Japanese ship, which was its trip back to Russia. This cup is really pretty rare as the ship was under Japanese control for less than five years. It's an interesting and important piece of naval history.
Size: 3.75" across