|What is Imari?
|Imari is a Japanese porcelain named after a small sea port in the province of Hizen in Kyushu,
the southern island of Japan, shipped out to both domestic and foreign markets under strict
restrictions by the local feudal lords during the Edo period (1603 - 1868).
1) A name, "Imari" appeared in writing in Japan in the mid 17th century.
2) Roughly about 60% of the porcelains shipped out of the Imari port were made
in and near Arita until Meiji 30th (1897) when the railway arrived.
3) Hizen is a name of the province in the Edo period which included present-day
Saga and Nagasaki prefectures.
|All the porcelains produced at the factories were brought to the port of Imari just to the north of Arita for
the trade and from there, they were shipped out to the many ports of Japan by the Kitamae-bune ships
and also exported out of the country by Chinese and Dutch traders. The kitamae-bune was a merchant
ship that transported north bound. As popularity and demands grew, more kilns were sprung around
the Hizen province. Pretty soon, the local lords started to control the factories in their territories and the
industry was managed and controlled. The porcelain products in the Hizen province, now Nagasaki
and Saga prefectures, was called Imari, because of the name of the port where they were shipped out.