There are many things I love about Japan. And then there are things I just cannot understand. Maybe it’s because I was raised abroad, where the general sentiment is: sharing is caring. Or perhaps it is due to my good fortune of meeting only generous craftsman shokunin in Japan who hold the same Western ethos of sharing is caring. Or maybe it’s because I am not a shokunin… who knows what the answer is. But things like this really baffle me.
So I’m exploring Instagram and come across these amazing beer glasses:
They’re so unique and I’ve never seen anything like them. Of course I immediately Google to see where I can get them (and also if there are glasses without the Illuminati chicken scratch).
I reach their site and WTF
It’s CREEPY. But aside from the creepy site, there is immediately this super long paragraph about the glasses.
They’re called “Ryhton” (?) and made by this one Japanese craft beer company, produced specifically for their beer. On their homepage, they wrote a disclaimer paragraph about how they get contacted about these glasses all the time, how they are not for sale, how these glasses are only to be enjoyed at the bars and restaurants this craft beer company chooses to distribute their beer to, and the glasses can only be used poured with their beer.
Now while I understand this beer company takes deep pride in their craft, as well as their wish to enjoy this one of a kind beer with this one of a kind glass, I can’t help but wonder if there is a need to be so… stingy. Conversely, this “mine mine mine” attitude makes these glasses and this beer seem more gimmicky than a trade.
This beer company and their not so becoming ethos makes me not want to try their beer. Ever.
When I asked friends in the food industry about this, tiny brands like this beer company who are extremely particular (and greedy with their knowledge / products / trade secrets) are apparently quite common in Japan. They said it confused them at first too, but they get it. And accept these quirks as part of the Japanese way.