A talk by Prof Charnvit Kasetsiri, CSEAS, Kyoto University

An Imperial Sake Cup and I
By Professor Charnvit Kasetsiri, former Rector of Thammasat Univerity

Date: 10 May 2019, 10:30-12:00
Venue: Tonan-tei (Room no. 201) on the second floor of Inamori
Foundation Memorial Building, CSEAS, Kyoto University

It was by luck and chance that in 1964 upon my B.A. graduation, I got a job as an international relations officer at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. That year, Crown Prince Akihito and his consort Michiko visited Thailand for the first time. I was in the team working on welcoming and receiving the imperial couple. Each of us was given a small souvenir i.e. a red lacquer sake cup with a golden chrysanthemum in the middle. I have kept the cup for over half a century. Learning that the Emperor would be abdicating, I went back to Tokyo last December and on the 23rd of the month when the Emperor and the Imperial family appeared on the balcony at the Imperial Palace, it was by luck and chance that I was right there almost at the front row with the Japanese. Back to old Kyoto and CSEAS, I came across antique sake cups on sale at flea markets at Toji, Kitano Jinta, etc. And I have become addicted to the sake cups. This talk rest on my appreciation of Japan’s royal treasures and the history of the Japanese royal family itself, which we had just witnessed the two important events: the abdication and the coronation.

About the speaker:
Charnvit Kasetsiri is with the Southeast Asian Studies Program Faculty of Liberal Arts Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. He is former rector of Thammasat University, and currently a researcher at CSEAS, Kyoto.

Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Associate Professor, CSEAS, Kyoto University