Early Period
1610 - 1644

In the beginning before the discovery of the porcelain mines, the Hizen region produced the Karatsu pottery. After
the political changes, they were forced out of the area to search the new venture in other locations in Hizen. These
potters from Karatsu factories with other new comers started the primitive porcelain production. The early porcelain
ware made in this period was only decorated in blue and they had very simple decorations. The early period
porcelain is called Shoki Imari.

Early Export Period

1644 - 1720

When the coloring methods was introduced and the export business dominated the industry, the styles of the ware
became more colorful and complicated to meet the demands of the foreigners. Kakiemon-de (style) and the more
elaborate Kinrande were shipped out of Japan.

Mid Edo Period

1720 - 1770

There was a significant decline in the export business after China recovered from the civil war and reopened the
trade. It became more competitive to sell oversea and also the Tokugawa government placed more restrictions on
the foreign trade at the time. The Hizen makers started to market the product to Japanese taste.  Some-nishiki and
more sometsuke porcelain were produced to the upper wealthy class of the domestic market.

Late Edo Period

1770 - 1854

While the domestic market was widened and spread to the lower class, the quality had declined but the varieties of
the utensils were produced.


1854 - 1868

When the foreign trade was officially re-opened in 1854, Hizen makers became active making export wares to
America and other European countries.
Imari History Timeline