Japan has long had a thriving tradition of high-quality handcrafted ceramics, including some of the world's most sophisticated porcelains. This highly informative volume written by a leading authority describes the origin and development of the elegant Imari and Kakiemon porcelain wares which were in great demand in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Kaolin was discovered in the Arita area of Kyushu in the early seventeenth century. The first porcelain wares were made by immigrant Korean potters, from whom Japanese potters were quick to learn new potting techniques and cobalt blue underglaze decoration. Local wares were further enriched by enamel overglaze techniques introduced from China not long afterwards. High standards were ensured by the strict administration of the governing Nabeshima fief, and within just a few decades Arita had become the hub of Japan's booming export trade in high-quality porcelain. Porcelain produced in the Arita kilns came to be known as Imari ware, named after the nearby port from which local wares were shipped. The Kakiemon family gained particular renown for the quality of their color enamels and artistic designs. With 95 color plates illustrating some rare and classic Imari and Kakiemon pieces from museums and private collections, this volume will appeal to collectors as well as enthusiasts.
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