"It always amazes me what miracles can happen with a lump of clay in just the right hands"
Many of the photos shown are in my collection. I will share what I learn about the kilns, artists, styles, and marks. This is a work in progress. Come along with me as I learn.
Because my blog traffic has grown, I will add marks from various other sources.
** NOTICE: I can no longer take readers queries on personal pieces. General comments and questions still accepted.
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
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):
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
This Dai Nippon Arita Fukagawa Sei Mark is listed under Meiji era in the Fukagawa archives.