What is interesting about this simple, typical cup?
A lot of the pottery made on Hachijo Islad (called, “Hachijo ware”), is sold at a local folk craft shop.
A simple pottery cup caught my eye.
That cup had gray brush marks, and two indigo lines were drawn on it.
I felt that cup was really interesting at first sight. I unintentionally bought it.
I thought that the maker of the cup must have been a person of humor.
However, you must wonder what is interesting about this simple, typical cup?
I’ll explain the reason why I felt so.
For that, I have to refer to the history of Hachijo Island.
During the Edo period (over 300 years ago), Hachijo Island was a penal colony of the shogunate.
Many criminals were banished to Hachijo Island.
When the criminals completed their jail terms, they were branded with a tattoo on their upper arms by the officials of the shogunate.
Their tattoo were proof that they were ex-convicts.
It showed that they came back from Hachijo Island.
The tattoo consisted of two indigo lines.
The cup that I bought has the same two indigo lines.
The maker definitely expressed the bygone age of the island on the cup by drawing two indigo lines.
When I figured out its hidden meaning, I felt very interesting in it.
I’m using this cup for drinking strong Japanese alcoholic drink called, Shocyu.
For your information, Hachijo Island is now different from the way it used to be.
The island was a penal colony, but that’s in the past.
Exiling a criminal to an island never happens in today’s Japan.
That is an ancient punishment.
Hachijo Island is known as a tourist spot today.
Many tourists visit this island to enjoy fishing or scuba diving.
The local people are peaceful and very kind.
That’s a very nice place.