Apr 21, 2014
The kandouko sake warmer is thought to have been used since the early Edo period in Japan. Apparently, people in those days brought these gadgets with them for outdoor activities such as cherry blossom viewing, and there they use them to enjoy warmed sake outdoors.
Several years ago, I found out about the kandouko sake warmer when I saw its advertisement on a Web page. It seemed that a sake-brewing-related company named Daikokuya had reproduced this old device from the Edo period and they were selling this gadget. Actually, it seemed to me a fascinating device, but too expensive to afford for me (it was priced at 126,000 yen).
The picture below shows the structure of the kandouko. The kandouko holds some amount of water in it, warms the water with heat of charcoal fire also burning inside this gadget, and warms sake with the warmed water. While you wait for your sake being warmed, you can cook some foods such as dried fish on the grill placed over the charcoal fire.
One of the problems when you enjoy warmed sake is that, when you finish the current helping, you need to leave the table for preparing another helping in the microwave etc. and your merry drinking time is interrupted by such work. I think the kandouko is a perfect solution to this problem, and moreover it even offers a bonus function for grilling some foods.
I was dying to own one of these gadgets, and so went on the Web to a net-auction site to see whether someone was selling one. There were some of these devices being sold. After one or two trials of bidding, I could finally purchase one. It cost around 6,000 yen. A good deal!
From then on, I often enjoy warmed sake with this kandouko. Also, I sometimes go net-shopping for those devices, and now I own five of them.
I treasure these gadgets so much that I made a song of kandouko. I make a movie of the kandouko using this song as BGM and uploaded it on the Youtube site. Please enjoy my movie, in which I sing the Song of Kandouko Sake Warmer, and it shows you how I enjoy warmed sake with my kandouko.