Sunday, November 10, 2013

DAI NIPPON (大日本)- Great Japan

KITAGAWA-ZO, made by Kitagawa (北川造)

From what I can get from both Japanese and English sites there was a famous Kitagawa who made and/or painted export wares that went out of Yokohama during the Meiji Era. Some are marked Dai Nippon (大日本) Kitagawa-zo (北川造) like the mark above (probably from the 1890's through the early 1900's). There are also other Kitagawa marks such as Kitagawa-Sei and  Kitagawa Kisaku-Sei. Worthpoint attributes Kitagawa zo markings to Kitagawa Kisaku. The gbouvier Kutani site has Kitagawa under Kutani. From what I have read of the history of this time, potters and painters from Kutani were sent to the Yokohama factories to crank out wares for export so the Kutani Kitagawa may very well be the Yokohama Kitagawa. There are some examples of Kitagawa works with Kobe written. Is it possible that Kitagawa goods were also made to be exported out of Kobe as well?  The workmanship of all the Kitagawa marks and painting style look very similar. At any rate, Kitagawa made pottery seems to have been made from the 1890's through at least the early 1900's.

                                    Dai Nippon Houzan Sei 

Unknown maker


  1. I did quite a bit of research yesterday on the internet. Thank heaven we have the internet and not have to search through books and books and books at the library. I really like your blog on the markings of porcelain it helped me get started on how to identify a set I picked up. It is the Dai Nippon marking but has JAPON above it. Do you know why they would spell it that way? Did you ever find out the reasoning? I would love to know the history. I've not been able to find anything on JAPON. p.s. I'm so bad at my blogging I haven't written in it since January 2012!

    1. It is hard to give an evaluation without seeing your piece. I have an email address for this blog. It is
      My first inclination is that it was made for the French market since Japon is French (and Spanish) for Japan.


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