Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ARITA YAKI (有田焼き) and IMARI (伊万里き )-Ceramics of Saga Prefecture

Aritayaki (or also known as Imari named after the port by which it was exported) is made in Arita, Saga Prefecture. There are many styles which include Kakiemon, Nabeshima, and Ko-Imari.    

There are several forms of pottery that fall under the Arita umbrella including: Arita, Imari, Hasami, Hizen, Mikawachi or Hirado. Hasami and Mikawachi are actually in Nagasaki Prefecture. The pottery in this area of Kyushu is all intertwined and because Arita and Imari are more internationally known they are grouped together here.


                                               11.5cm vase, modern mountain and stream mark

                                    18 cm tall vase with modern mountain and stream mark.
                             10 cm. covered dish with modern mountain and stream mark.

           The blue pattern has been made from at least mid 1970's and is still sold today.
                  The small plum blossom dish has been sold from at least late 1970's.

                      12.5 cm diameter plate with modern mountain and stream mark.

22 cm vase with modern mountain and stream mark 

Modern mountain and stream mark 

This is the main store in Arita.
Some links: http://www.fukagawa-seiji.com/shop/,



                                                         Mid Meiji Hichozan Fukagawa plate


                          Link:    http://www.koransha.co.jp/koransha/koransha_mei.html

Modern Koransha MARK



This Koransha MARK looks like ones used early to mid 20th century (I would guess around 1930)

This mark is probably from the 1970's

Fairly modern Koransha MARK

I visited the Arita in February.  This is the main store.

Here is the link for Koransha:  http://www.koranasha.co.jp/english/

 IMAEMON (今右衛門 )-Iro Nabeshima

Iro Nabeshima, in the Edo period was only made for the Lords. The family of Imaemon Imaizumi was commissioned  to apply the overglaze enamels. Since the Meiji era the family has done the whole production process. The secrets are passed down from parent to one child of the family. Imaemon XIII was designated as a Living National Treasure. In 2002 his son Masato succeeded  him as Imaemon XIV.

                                                  This is a plate made by Imaemon XIV 

                                                                  Imaemon XIV MARK

                                                    This was made by Imaemon XIII. 



Nishiyama Mark




Aritayaki tea cups Kiyohide Kiln MARK

Aritayaki deep bowls Kiyohide Kiln MARK

Aritayaki deep bowls Kiyohide Kiln

Kiyohide Kiln MARK

Footed dishes-Kiyohide






Azuchi Kiln





Mikawachi-yaki is actually from Nagasaki Prefecture and is considered as part of Hirado pottery, although it is usually grouped in the Arita catagory.

Yamato MARK



(Right to left) Nabeshima Yuuzan-gama

  This lovely incense burner was made by Dai Shuu (大秀).

Kawazoe Seizan Gama


                                        These plates and covered bowls have three children at play

This cup has five children at play

This is the style of painting that has children in play, usually chasing butterflies. It is taken after Chinese painting. I read somewhere (can't find the reference now...should have written it down!! Drat!) that this style of porcelain painting "Karako" meaning Chinese child or children was produced for three levels of social status. The three children design was made for the common people, the five children design was made for people of a higher status (lords and other high ranking people) and the seven children design was made for the imperial family. The sometsuke (blue and white) is most common but there are Karako designs in other colors as well, red being perhaps the second most common.





Kazan MARK






           This vase by SHUHO is done in the old Kakiemon style. The colors used, flowers and birds, and the large areas of open white "canvas" are typical of Kakiemon.


                                             This is another common SHUHO Mark




 Senho MARK


                                                            Arita. Mansen?




This piece was in my "Unknown" section for a while. I finally discovered its origin. This is made in Arita by KEIZAN.  http://aritayaki.jp/kamamoto/keizan.html



  1. Just came upon your blog while looking for some japanese porcelain marks, and I believe the unidentified mark in the picture just above the "Aritayaki meoto or "couple" yunomi tea cups, Kiyohide Kiln", is Takamine.


  2. Roger, Thanks for your comment. I think this is the reading as well, but I want to verify by Japanese sources before I post it. Do you have a reference?

  3. Hi
    This is great site but do you have older japanese marks.
    I am looking marks from 1920-1950 like most european japanese items.
    I'am holding my hands vase with Fukagawa mark but it is not vertically it is horizontally with 3 marks.

    1. I researched your description a bit. I did find a 1900 (Meiji 1933) plate with the mountain mark followed horizontally by the Fukagawa Sei (深川製). I don't know if this helps. The link was takashimaya.co.jp but I found it through google images in Japanese.

    2. Oops, that should be Meiji 33 not 1933.