Abura tokkuri (oil bottle) (油徳利)

Abura tokkuri is a traditional Japanese folk utensil used as a container when purchasing or preserving oil for tomyo (votive light.)

As its name suggests, it often has a similar shape to tokkuri for sake or soy sauce. In order to pour oil into a pan or a hyosoku (oil lamp), oil in abura tokkuri is first poured in an oilcan. There were some innovative abura tokkuri with a device to recycle dripped oil (a saucer attached in the top of abura tokkuri catches dripped oil and drains it back to abura tokkuri) because oil was expensive at that time.

Abura tokkuri is generally ceramic. Some are, however, made of metals with a device to put charcoal in the bottom which can warm up the solidified oil during winter.

Tradition says that Tsukumo-gami (gods to a variety of things, some of which are specters transformed from artifacts) of abura tokkuri exists. In "Nisenzuihitsu,"a Japanese classic essay, it is written that abura tokkuri of a farm family in Kishiwada City, Izumi Province (present-day Kishiwada City, Osaka Prefecture) kept serving oil that the family needed for as long as five years.

[Original Japanese]