The Gods Must Be Thirsty

© Jean B. Hall

The Gods Must Be Thirsty

Uploaded: November 23, 2008


Casks of saki were traditionally presented to Japanese shrines and temples to thank the gods for a bountiful harvest. They are made from cedar and covered with woven straw sheets called komo, which are decorated with lovely pictures and lettered with special fonts reserved just for saki barrels. Here at the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, Japan, plastic has also been used to help protect them from sun and damp.

Saki is actually the generic term for alcohol. The proper term for rice wine – which is 10% to 20% alcohol and can be drunk hot or cold – is nihonshu.

To ensure good fortune at weddings, store openings, and sports and election events – and also at the beginning of each new year – casks like these are often cracked open with wooden mallets in a special ceremony called kagami wari or kagami biraki, which means “opening the lid” or “breaking open the mirror.”


Robyn A. Terrell November 23, 2008

This is a fantastic image, Jean. Superb detail and the theme, too! #1040424

Jean B. Hall November 23, 2008

Thanks very much, Robyn. I'm not much for drinking saki. (It's OK if it's VERY cold.) But I really loved the art and calligraphy on these barrels. #6794613

Stefania Barbier level-addict November 23, 2008

great line-up and capture! #6794949

Jean B. Hall November 24, 2008

Thanks very much, Stefania. Hope all is well with you. #6795361

James Reininger November 24, 2008

Great composition! #6797971

Jean B. Hall November 24, 2008

Thanks so much, James! #6798741

Jean B. Hall November 24, 2008

Thanks for your supportive comments, Sabrina. #6799900

Jennifer L. Taranto November 25, 2008

love your pov!! great details too!! #6802670

Jean B. Hall November 27, 2008

Thanks very much, Jennifer.

At Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all the friendship and encouragement I have found at BetterPhoto.

Wishing all of your the best,

Jean #6816540

Nadya Johnson November 28, 2008

This is so unique! What a wonderful and fascinating capture, Jean! Thanks for the information, too! #6820032

Jean B. Hall November 28, 2008

Thanks so much, Nadya! #6820165

Shelly A. Van Camp level-classic November 28, 2008

Very cool capture, Jean! #6823335

Jean B. Hall November 29, 2008

Thanks, Shelly, for your supportive comment. #6823899

KARU WIJESUNDARA. A.N.P.A.S. November 29, 2008


KARU. #6827753

Jean B. Hall November 30, 2008

Thanks very much, Karu. #6828301

John Connolly December 03, 2008

What a remarkable image, Jean! The detail and color are simply supeerb!
Thanks for the informative history too! #6845317

Jean B. Hall December 03, 2008

Thanks so much, John! #6845758

Michael Lynch December 11, 2008

Awesome composition and commentary ! #6881603

Jean B. Hall December 12, 2008

Thanks so much, Michael! #6882434

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