|Kutani & Other Porcelain
|Daishoji is a name of a castle town once ruled by Maeda Toshiharu of Kaga, now Ishikawa
prefecture. Kutani kilns who suffered a loss of a feudal patron during the transition from the Edo
to the Meiji period in the mid 19th century, were revised by the local merchants, willing to start a
new venture especially a foreign trade. Ko-Imari style porcelain made in Daishoji is also known
as Daishoji Imari.
Daishoji Imari is known to be one of the various ceramic products in Kaga region (Ishikawa),
starting from the early Meiji period. A style of old Hizen export ware of the Edo period, also
known as “Imari”, foreign trade after the Meiji restoration.The traditional methods of the Hizen
porcelain industry were also achieved as well as designs & motifs of the originals.
After losing the patronage of the rulers since the abolition of feudalism (1868), Kutani potters
were on the way to recovery under the order of a new government chief, Chisaka Takamasa who
funded a new venture of Kutani Toki Kaisha in 1879 and appointed Asukai Kiyoshi (1843-1884)
to lead the company. In 1880, Matsuyama Seishichi also known as Okura Juraku (1836-1918),
was commissioned to visit Arita for the research. Upon his return, “bungyo”, an assembly line
system was employed for Kutani enterprise ; porcelain blank pieces with under glaze decoration
called Imari-shita (base) were created at the kilns in Yamashiro area and later sent to the Nishiki-
gama (enameling kilns) located at the town of Daishoji and other neighboring area.
The company folded in 1900 after suffering economic downfalls and misfortunes of a fire and
their regions and even to the oversea markets. Inoue Shoten (Company) which opened in 1877,
was one of the major operators of the Daishoji porcelain products. The company managed the
production and the distribution of the porcelain industry. Owing to the flourishing success of the
companies & merchants of the early Meiji period, many excellent pieces were produced which
earned the prizes of the world fairs in America and Europe.
|Somenishiki Lidded Bowl 1880 - 1900
|Although early Kutani porcelain also known as Ko-Kutani porcelain was believed to be started in
17th century in the Kaga province, it is now believed to be Hizen products in the southern Kyushu
island. It was much later in the late Edo period, new revival of porcelain making was started under
Maeda Daimyo's patronage.