Drinking cups and their characteristics around the globe vary a great deal. While Asia turns to the ceramic cup to drink from, and the West glassware is the main preference for drinking from. Production of suzu-ki or tinware in Japan, is a popular cup to drink from in this region of the world.
Between the seventh and ninth century, tin was introduced to Japan by two figures of the time; Kenzuishi who was a Japanese envoy to the Sui Dynasty in China and Kentoshi who was a Japanese envoy to the Tang Dynasty also in China. Very soon after Japan began to produce tin too. The tin however, was restricted for the imperial courts use, bear in mind though at that time this particular metal was valued just like gold and silver are in todays terms.
Tinware such as drinking cups and Japanese tea sets grew to become very popular for the ordinary man during the Edo period of 1603 to 1868.
Because of its combined practicality and appealing that craftsmen have designed this metal through the ages, tinware is made use of in a broad range of products. Among others tin has a variety of characterics due to its ion content, the effects of which help to purify liquids, specifically taking away any unpleasant taste (zatsumi) from sake, making it even more delicious and smoother.
Another characteristic of tin is that it is known for its moisture protection, retaining the freshness and intensity of tea leaves, which makes tin an ideal metal for cups to drink from, in additional to teacups and pots. When it comes to its vibrant, pristine color, its not surprising that tin is used for things such as the religious instruments for Buddhism or Shinto, decorations, cassolettes in addition to cinnabar seal ink cases.