In Japan, most cups used to hold hot beverages such as tea or sake, don't have handles. Therefore, a gracious host will use a coaster to serve a hot beverage to a guest, giving him something to hold onto which is not too hot.
Most coaster sets consist of a cylindrical box which is designed to contain a stack of thin coasters. Typically, the detailed design on the lid of the box is repeated, in less detail, on each of the coasters.
We have them all over our home, holding everything from buttons to feathers.
Trays and Dishes
The oblong "Aloha Hawaii" tray came to us with a stack of "Aloha" coasters. It is 14½ by 3½ inches.
The round tray on the left is 8½ inches in diameter. The one on the right is 6½ inches in diameter.
The hair would be used for braiding projects. There are still craftsman working with hair today. Click here for an interesting peek a what can be done with hair.
The donut shaped space around the inner box is meant to hold a gentleman's detachable collars. The inner box, with its own lid and a raised bottom, is just the right size to hold the studs used to attach the collar to the shirt.
We aren't sure when detachable collars went out of use. If anyone can shed some light on this, please let us know by Email.
Occasionally, we come across unique items or sets of items which clearly belong in the genre, but which are hard to classify.
You may wish to visit our collection of "uniquities".