Monday, April 20, 2015


There is a lot of confusion on the various marks used by the Fukagawa Seiji and Koransha companies over the years. When you check out the various auction sites you will find many fairly modern pieces being sold as Antiques. Some Koransha items are seen advertised as Fukagawa and visa versa. One must know their stuff if they decide to purchase items on these sites. Seiji Kaisha was also an off shoot of the original Koransha company.

I am building a collection of marks with their general time periods. It is a work in progress. I want to thank Sharon Meredith from "The Many Faces of Japan" on Ruby Lane for her contribution of marks!! I also am thankful for Sandra Simon who provided me some wonder resources for marks and time periods. 
I am thankful for the book "Meiji Arita..." for help with additional marks of the Meiji period.

Both Fukagawa Seiji and Koransha were established by the Fukagawa Family (with others) and they have held the leadership in both companies throughout. Seiji Kaisha is interwoven in the mix as well, having been established by Koransha people (which lasted about twenty years).

The Fukagawa family made ceramics for generations but in 1879 they established Koransha. After the death of the father in 1889, the second son began Fukagawa Seiji in 1894. Obviously the companies are intertwined as they are both headed by Fukagawa descendants.

Here are some helpful sites for both Koransha and Fukagawa Seiji  (some English, some in Japanese with great pictures): 

This one is in Japanese but has some Fukagawa and Koransha marks ranging from late Meiji to early Showa period.

I will break the marks down by decade as a general rule, but keep in mind that there will be overlap as Fukagawa/ Koransha did not start and stop marks by decade. Some marks continued for decades. 

           Hichozan Fukagawa Sei c. 1868-1870

Circa 1870's

Circa 1880's


Circa 1890's

         Seiji Kaisha 1879-1897

Sharon Meredith provided the pictures of this wonderful Koransha plate. The "Fukagawa Zo" mark was used in the latter Meiji period before Fukagawa Seiji broke off from Koransha. I place it in the 1890's because according to the Koransha website the "Fukagawa Zo" mark was used before the break up in 1894, however it possible that it was made in the mid to late 1880's as there is a somewhat similar plate in red under 1880's in the archives of the Koransha site. 

  Fukagawa Mark believed used from the mid 1890's through first quarter of the 20th Century

    Circa 1900's-1920

 This Dai Nippon Arita Fukagawa Sei Mark is listed under Meiji era in the Fukagawa archives. 

                       C. 1900-1910


      Circa 1920's

According to the Koransha company website this mark was from the early Showa Period 1926~

      Circa 1930's

       This Koransha vase is believed to be circa 1930's

Pre war

Pre war

      Circa 1940's


During the war years production continued domestically to some extent under government control, but there were no exports.

      Circa 1950's/1960's

       Used on dinner ware for foreign markets


                          Koransha   (*continues)

      Circa 1970's~

Fukagawa, Kanyo Sometsuke. Nancy N. Schiffer's book Imari, Satsuma and Other Japanese Export Ceramics 1997 puts this mark at 1977, design by Iwao Fukagawa.

This is Fukagawa, marked Kanyo sometsuke 官窯染付



      From 1975~

Circa 1980~


Fukagawa Iroe Saiji Mark from latter part of 20th Century (c.1980's)


Modern Fukagawa mark with red "double happiness" mark on inside lid. 

         Current Fukagawa Mark


2015 Store Fukuoka Daimaru Display

Also see:

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