Incredible Design and Style of Japanese Porcelain

By: rhusain
The Japanese started making the porcelain in the sixteenth and seventeenth century operating near Arita, in the province of Hizen. The best known wares are the dishes and jars decorated in the so called 'Imari' style painted on a heavy bluish-toned body with a mixture of flowers, scrolls and panels in dark blue, red and gold.

Japan
The majority of Japanese porcelain to be seen outside that country is ware that was made purposely for export. Little, if any, porcelain at all was made there before the sixteenth century, but by the seventeenth century kilns were in operation near Arita, in the province of Hizen.

Probably the best-known wares, apart from nineteenth-century Satsuma, are the dishes and jars decorated in the so-called 'Imari' style, from the name of the port near Arita whence they were brought to Europe by Dutch traders. This Imari porcelain is painted on a heavy bluish-toned body with a mixture of flowers, scrolls and panels in dark blue, red and gold. At the time it was brought to the West it was highly esteemed, and although it has been copied extensively (Crown Derby is a familiar example) it is less popular today.

The other Japanese ware that had an influence on Western porcelain is that known as 'Kakiemon', after Sakaida Kakiemon, one of a family of Arita potters. Pieces with this style of decoration derived from the Chinese, are sparsely painted in red, green, blue, turquoise and yellow, and they were copied closely at Dresden, Chantilly, Chelsea and elsewhere.

Some of the Japanese potters imitated closely current Chinese wares, and these are easily confused. Many Japanese pieces have small marks under the bases where they stood on clay 'stilts' when being fired. Many, also, show a reddish-orange colour on the unglazed edges.

Other porcelains and styles of decoration were current in Japan at the time that these export pieces were being made, but comparatively few specimens have left the country.

Books
There are many books dealing with individual pottery and porcelain factories, but the best general works are:

European: European Ceramic Art, by W. B. Honey, published in 1952. It is a large thick volume (with a thinner supplementary volume of illustrations) containing 'a dictionary of factories, artists, technical terms, and general information', and reproduces a large number of marks. Also, it contains full bibliographies up to 1952 relating to each factory.

Oriental: The Ceramic Art of China, by W. B. Honey, published in 1945. This contains also chapters dealing with the wares of Indo-China, Korea and Japan, and is well illustrated.
Marks are reproduced in Handbook of Pottery & Porcelain Marks, by J. P. Cushion and W. B. Honey, and in The Collector's Handbook of Marks and Monograms on Pottery and Porcelain, by William Chaffers.

The Japanese wares influenced the western porcelain. These wares are called Mari' style and the 'Kakiemon', after Sakaida Kakiemon, one of a family of Arita potters. They produced the wares for export purpose only. Their wares are colored with differently like painted in red, green, blue, turquoise and yellow. Some of the books that gives the insight knowledge of the pottery and porcelain factories can help you in knowing amore about the pottery and porcelain history and its progress.
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