This very special pair of vintage Taisho-Showa period Hirado porcelain plates was made by the Hirado Mikawachi-yaki Kakushou-gama or kiln written 平戸 嘉久正 窯 -, and that is according to information confined by one of the descendant family members or potter whom I had the opportunity to speak today, Toshitaka-san from Sasebo, Nagasaki. The age was said to be from the Taisho- early Showa period of the 1920s, The information came from the father at the Kakushou Kiln, one of the old original Mikawachi Hirado kilns. Thank you so much to a very nice new friend from the Japanese Ceramics group Homma Akemi, She found the Facebook page of the kiln using their Kamajirushi or cartouche from the bottom of the plate, and to Sue Lynn Takagi for making I had my facts straight.
These early 20th-century fine Hirado porcelain plates are finely decorated in the well known and fine underglaze blue and overglaze enamels of different shades of blue, in the motif of a prunis tree in a kakine-or a hedge growing over a basket or fence, The plates are hand-made and finely formed in an elegant shape with a delicate rounded rim and bottom running into a thin tall foot standing 1.76 inches. The edge is decorated with an overglaze wavy border over two underglaze wavy lines. They are very well made quality Hirado plates in the size of side plates at 6.1 inches in diameter or namasu size. They are in excellent condition for their near 100-year-old age with the exception of a small rim chip on each plate. They are signed with the 正 part of their name as the kamajirushi. Even more fun, Toshitaka-san and his father sent me pictures of some of their plates made during the same tine period as ours before they were "baked" in the kiln and I have made room to share them with you. A beautiful pair of Hirado porcelain plates of simple elegance.
SIZE: Diameter 6.1 inches or 15.49 cm, Height 1.76 inches or 4.47 cm, Weight 520 grams or 1.14 lbs each
Please note: A photo correction of the first image is in process. In the Interim, please see the additional photos or ask for by email! FREE Shipping since the original shipping weight was incorrect. Thank you!
Hirado 平戸市 Hirado-shi is first a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The part historically named Hirado is located on the island of the same name. This is one of the areas I had the opportunity to live as a child, at the time in the 1960’s we simply knew it was, Nagasaki the city. It was in this area that the Hirado kilns were first born, and are now closed. While the kilns closed early in the 20th century, Hirado type wares are still made by certain famous Japanese artists only.
Hirado porcelains are characterized by its pure white body and clear glaze, often adorned with fine painting in underglaze blue. Some pieces are embellished with brown glaze. Others, more rarely, are covered with a fine celadon glaze. While Japanese scholars often technically refer to this material as Mikawachi ware, the popular term in both Japan and the West is Hirado ware.
Japanese porcelain with figure and landscape painting in blue on a white body, often depicting boys at play, made exclusively for the Lords of Hirado, near Arita, in the mid-18th to mid-19th centuries. Hirado was an important kiln in the history of Japanese ceramics and its widely varied wares rank among the finest made and considered by many as the finest in the world in the 1780-1870s, others cut the end of that period earlier, to around 1840, or the time of the first Opium war in China.
Hirado wares were originally made exclusively for the wealthy Matsura family. Close to the Korean peninsula, Hirado was a natural locus for international shipping and trade between Japan, Korea and China. A Korean potter - who married into a Japanese family and took the Japanese name Sannoj - found kaolin, the basic ingredient in porcelain clay, at the village of Mikawachi in the mid-1600s. Sannoj's kilns, established under command of the Hirado daimyo feudal lord, began producing Hirado Mikawachi wares. Early Hirado ware was known in Japan for its high quality and fine craftsmanship.
The golden age of Hirado porcelain lasted from 1751-1843, during which time the finest porcelain in Japan was produced. When the economic structure of the feudal system began to disintegrate during the early 19th century, daimyo support of the kilns was replaced by export contracts with the Dutch East India Company.
In the 19th century, Hirado ware was especially in the Victorian West renowned as an desirable export ware. By the 1840s Hirado ware had become an export eagerly sought by sophisticated buyers in the West. Hirado porcelain was featured in the great international expositions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With the advent of modernism in the early 20th century, however, demand for Hirado fell.
Most recently, they fall under Arita, and just prior have had success in rebuilding the works of and demand for Hirado through Famous Moemon Nakazato and their kilns.
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