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A masu (枡升?) was originally a square wooden box used to measure rice in Japan during the feudal period. Masu existed in many sizes, typically covering the range from one to (一斗枡 ittomasu, c. 18L) to one gō (一合枡 ichigōmasu, c. 0.18L).
Today masu are largely used for drinking sake, as the advent of modern rice cookers and a higher calorie diet in Japan has made them impractical for measuring portions of rice, and the standard size is one gō, or 0.18039L.
A small (2.5 in x 2.5 in x 2.25 in h), lidded form of masu, made of hinoki, is sold for serving pepper, salt, sugar, and other dry condiments at the table.
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