Unsolvable Japanese Cider Bottle

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Hezezilla

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Hi guys. I got one big mystery bottle for you guys that I'm almost absolutely sure will never be solved. But on the off chance it does, I'll let you know.

I have here a beautiful Japanese turn-mold cider bottle. It is very much akin to the early ring-necked Mitsuya cider bottles. I in fact bought this with one. The only identifying mark is the base which is in Kanji (Chinese characters). I have tirelessly looked for a few months now and finally decided on "正莊號選" or "正選號莊" being the correct reading and characters. However, no matter how I look at it, it makes absolutely no sense. I don't speak Japanese so I might be getting something wrong. Only God knows.

I know nobody really cares but the breakdown of the characters is:

正 - Correct, Righteous, Justice
莊 - broom (usually only used in names)
號 - mark, sign, symbol, number
選 - elect, select, choose, prefer

Any way you read it, it's gotta be someone's name.

The original seller didn't know what it was, three of my Japanese-speaking friends didn't know, my Japanese professor and his wife didn't know, my bottle friends didn't know . . . I am at my wit's end.

I am going to ask all of my local contacts again before I really give up. God, I wish collecting orientals was easier :(

1697191871263.png

Original eBay photo (bottle in question is on the left and a Mitsuya Cider on the right).
 

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CanadianBottles

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Are you sure it's a Japanese rather than a Chinese bottle? Not sure if that would change much with the translation though. I'm wondering if it's something along the lines of "Good Choice - 莊 Brand"
 

embe

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Interesting. I picked up a similar bottle years ago and hadn't thought much of it until seeing your post. I recall it had a big chip. I'll see if I can find it and post pics
 

embe

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Don't know if this helps or hinders but here it is
 

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Hezezilla

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Don't know if this helps or hinders but here it is
Hi, thanks for posting. That's a Mitsuya (三ツ矢) Cider, contrary to the name it was soda. I have one too (I have since given the other to a friend). They are still in business and are pretty common but there are lots of variations, some with just a basemark and some with shoulder or heel embossing. Which state are you from? They are most often found here in Hawaii but I've heard of them being found in some of the West Coast states.
P1090291.JPG


That said, I was actually able to figure out what my mystery bottle is (at least what the base says). I ended up asking my Grandfather. He's from Japan and I don't know why I didn't think to ask him earlier. In essence, the bottle reads "正しい選ばれた瓶そう" which when translated roughly means "this bottle is the right choice and has lots of flavor". Still doesn't tell me who made it but I'm leaning towards it being another variation of a Mitsuya Cider.

Thanks a lot guys for entertaining my inquiry.
 

CanadianBottles

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Hi, thanks for posting. That's a Mitsuya (三ツ矢) Cider, contrary to the name it was soda. I have one too (I have since given the other to a friend). They are still in business and are pretty common but there are lots of variations, some with just a basemark and some with shoulder or heel embossing. Which state are you from? They are most often found here in Hawaii but I've heard of them being found in some of the West Coast states.
View attachment 250208

That said, I was actually able to figure out what my mystery bottle is (at least what the base says). I ended up asking my Grandfather. He's from Japan and I don't know why I didn't think to ask him earlier. In essence, the bottle reads "正しい選ばれた瓶そう" which when translated roughly means "this bottle is the right choice and has lots of flavor". Still doesn't tell me who made it but I'm leaning towards it being another variation of a Mitsuya Cider.

Thanks a lot guys for entertaining my inquiry.
We used to get a lot of those Mitsuya Cider bottles in British Columbia as well when I lived out there. I think they show up anywhere that had a sizable Japanese population in the early 20th century.

Interesting that your mystery bottle doesn't contain any information about who made it. It's an odd thing to bother embossing on the base.
 

Hezezilla

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I cover the style a little bit on my Historic Glass Bottle ID & Information Website at the following link:

They are indeed Japanese in origin...and often found in the NW here as well as British Columbia.

Bill L.
Sweet resource. I do a lot of research on Japanese bottles. Here are some things I know about Japanese beverages and their bottles.

I know from some of the Japanese bottle blogs that the green bottles were primarily used for ciders, essentially sodas. I know of ciders made under the brand names of Mitsuya, Asashio, Nunobiki Diamond, Nitto Sosen, Kinsen, Dai Nippon, and Takara Lemon. All of these bottles are green or green-aqua of sorts with embossing normally on the shoulder and heel and oftentimes the base. Most are turn-mold but I have seen some selling that appear to be tooled tops but I am unsure of this. Most date roughly from 1890-1925. Afterwards they switched over to clear or aqua machine-made crown tops.

Sakés were most often bottled in blue or deep aqua bottles, in wooden kegs, or clay pots. At times Soy Sauces and vinegars were also stored like this. Usually Western styled beers were sold in amber bottles.

These are things that I have noted from reading through Japanese collector's blogs and browsing Mercari Jp and Yahoo Japan. By no means is this analysis totally true. The Japanese aren't super big on writing detailed historical descriptions. They largely enjoy bottles for their physical appearance.
 

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