Masu measuring cup


Masu 升 measuring cup

measuring box

Masumasu Daruma 升々だるま

masumasu ますます 【益々】/  升ます
... is an expression for things getting better and better.

The Chinese character is also read as

shoo しょう【升】

One sho-bottle is 1.8 liters, for example.

masuzake, masu sake 升酒 rice wine served in a wooden masu

The boxes can be made to order with an inscription for an auspicious occasion, like a wedding or company event.

Cheers to a wedding, with sake from boxes and a Daruma barrel!


A masu (枡)
was originally a square wooden box used to measure rice in Japan during the feudal period. Masu existed in many sizes, typically covering the range from one to (一斗枡 ittomasu, c. 1.8L) to five gō (五合枡 gogōmasu, c. 0.9L).
One masu was supposedly enough rice to feed a person for one day.

Today masu are largely used for drinking sake, as the advent of modern rice cookers and a higher calorie diet in Japan has made them impractical for measuring portions of rice, and the standard size is one gō, or 0.18039L.

A small (2.5 in x 2.5 in x 2.25 in h), lidded form of masu, made of hinoki, is sold for serving pepper, salt, sugar, and other dry condiments at the table.
source : wikipedia


. Edo craftsmen 江戸の職人 shokunin .

masushi, masu shi 枡師 making Masu measuring cup

There were seven different sizes for Masu in Edo:

Big ones for measuring rice or other grains had a handle on the outside
or a wooden handle from one corner to the opposite corner.

tsurukake masu 弦掛枡

Masu without a Tsurukake were called
kijimasu 木地枡
and used for measuring Sake, oil, salt etc.

They were made mainly from the wood of hinoki 檜 cypress, sugi 杉 cedar wood was also used.
In the Heian period, every 荘園 lord of a manor had his own Masu made.
豊臣秀吉 Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered the

Kyoomasu 京枡 Kyoto-Masu (十合枡)to be used in all of Japan.

Hideyoshi and the Kyomasu
(scene from Sanadamaru NHK TV Jidaigeki)

After Tokugawa Ieyasu was in firm control of the Edo Bakufu government, he ordered the
Edo masu 江戸枡
to be used.
All the other domains used their own Masu and to unify the whole lot, the Bakufu decided in 1667 to use the Kyomasu in all of Japan.
Special offices, called 枡座 Masu-Za, where set up in Edo and Kyoto to supervise the size and punish any offenders.
The Head of the Kyoto Masuza was the carpenter 福井作左衛門 Fukui Sakuzaemon
and in Edo 樽屋藤左衛門 / 樽屋与左衛門 Taruya Yozaemon .
They had to make the official Masu, burn a seal into the wood and bring them to the market for sale. All other Masu were forbidden.
Since the Kyo-Masu was slightly larger than the Edo-Masu, the government was able to increase its income by just that much!


masumasu - may the money get more and more

Piggy Bank (chokin bako  貯金箱)

. Masu at Temple Okubo-Ji, Shikoku .


kigo for late autumn

masu ichi 枡市(ますいち)masu measure cups market
at Sumiyoshi Shrine, Osaka


masu katte funbetsu kawaru tsukimi kana

I bought a measuring box
which made me change my mind
about moon viewing . . .

Matsuo Basho in Osaka, at a Masu Market 升市

Details are HERE
. Sumiyoshi Jinja 住吉神社 .  


sakadaru 酒樽 sake barrel, sake cask

. Sake, Ricewine and Daruma .

. Sakadaru with Mount Fujisan 富士山.


more and more
good luck in your cup -
Happy New Year

益々福が増す升 -masumasu fuku ga masu masu

source : diary2009

fukumasu, fuku masu 福枡 auspicious masu

with Mount Fuji, for the first drink of sacred sake at New Year

. Shoobai Hanjoo 商売繁盛 good business .
fukuzeni, fuku zeni 福銭 auspicious coin


Omeikoo ya abura no yoo na sake go masu

Omeiko ceremony -
rice wine like oil
in five masu cups

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

This is a kind of sweet, strong and delicious rice wine.
It was a favorite drink of Saint Nichiren and is now still offered to him.

omeiko, Omeikō 御命講 memorial service
for Saint Nichiren 日蓮
. Saint Nichiren .


. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 




Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

haru tatsu ya shinnen furuki kome goshoo

ten quarts of rice

spring begins -

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Sake 酒 for rituals and festivals