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kenji abe reinterprets traditional sake cups with duralumin — a robust aircraft metal

hakusaku: a modern, industrial twist on japanese tradition

 

Tokyo-based designer Kenji Abe puts a contemporary, industrial twist on the age-old Japanese tradition of drinking sake with his metal HAKUSAKU cup ranges. While the nationally-beloved beverage is typically served in a porcelain cup, HAKUSAKU is instilled with the rigor of the aircraft industry, precisely carved from pure ingots of super duralumin — one of the hardest and strongest yet lightweight aluminum alloys used in aircraft manufacturing.

 

The cup is meticulously molded to an optimal thickness and roundness which allows the flavors of its contained beverage to take center stage while lending a stylistic facade. Slim and elegant, HAKUSAKU is inspired by the kiriko style of traditional Japanese cut glass, engraved with a pattern of curving lines and finished with a thin rim that accentuates the flavors of sake and enhances comfort during drinking.

hakusaku instilled with the rigor of the aircraft industry designed by kenji abe 2
all images courtesy of Kenji Abe

 

 

an optimal form that enhances the sake drinking experience

 

After an experimental process of prototyping, designer Kenji Abe developed an optimal lip thickness of 0.6 mm — 0.3 mm thinner than the typical thin-lipped sake cup. The surface profile of the lip has been molded to be as round as possible, ensuring a smooth curve and a bell-like shape for comfort and to conduct the coolness of its contents.

 

Reinterpreting the kiriko style facets, HAKUSAKU is engraved with straight and curved lines in a style that combines decorative design with proven function. While minimizing changes in temperature, the ridges reduce the contact area with the user’s fingers and prevents the sake from being warmed by the hand.

hakusaku instilled with the rigor of the aircraft industry designed by kenji abe 3
a contemporary, industrial twist on the age-old Japanese tradition of drinking sake

 

 

kenji abe looks to aircraft construction

 

The project has been designed in collaboration with aircraft parts manufacturer Atsuta Kigyo Co., Ltd., shaped from super duralumin which is typically used to make airplane parts. The sake cups are therefore exceptionally tough, designed to remain intact for many years, while holding a delicate feel. The design team has utilized a five-axis and a multitasking machining tool to cut the shapes with high degrees of complexity, operated by highly skilled technicians.Our processing technologies enable us to make products that clear the stringent safety standards of the aircraft and aerospace industries — and our sake cups are fashioned using these same technologies,’ notes Kenji Abe. Further, carving sake cups from ingots of metal is a process that generates large amounts of metal shavings, and as such, the team has recycled the shavings for reuse.

hakusaku instilled with the rigor of the aircraft industry designed by kenji abe 5
HAKUSAKU is precisely carved from pure ingots of super duralumin — a metal used in aircraft parts

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hakusaku instilled with the rigor of the aircraft industry designed by kenji abe 7
the pattern reinterprets traditinoal kiriko cup style facets

hakusaku instilled with the rigor of the aircraft industry designed by kenji abe 1
a 0.6 mm rim — 0.3 mm thinner than the typical thin-lipped sake cup

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Kenji Abe’s HAKUSAKU enhances the sake drinking experience

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hakusaku instilled with the rigor of the aircraft industry designed by kenji abe 10
a five-axis and a multitasking machining tool cut the shapes with high degrees of complexity

 

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project info:

 

name: HAKUSAKU
designer: Kenji Abe

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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